Known as the silent killer, ovarian cancer is often not diagnosed until the disease has already advanced beyond the point where it can be successfully treated. Of the 21,550 cases diagnosed in 2009, more than 14,000 resulted in death – the equivalent of a 68% fatality rate. The key to beating the odds is seeking the best treatment available as soon as possible.
There are three types of ovarian tumors, named for the tissue in which they are found:
Epithelial cell: cells that cover the surface of the ovary. Most of these tumors are benign (noncancerous). However, epithelial ovarian cancer accounts for 85 percent to 90 percent of ovarian cancer cases.
Germ cell: cells that form the eggs in the ovary.
Stromal cell: cells that form the ovary and produce female hormones.
New Techniques Promise Better Outcomes
Dr. Sean S. Tedjati, M.D., M.P.H., the Director of Westchester Medical Center’s Division of Gynecologic Oncology, has demonstrated promising success in treating ovarian cancer, even in patients with stages III and IV ovarian cancer. After removing malignant tumors and organs, he treats these patients with intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy, a process which involves bathing the pelvic cavity with aggressive cancer-fighting medications.
Combining this treatment with standard intravenous chemotherapy has been shown to significantly improve survival in patients in the advanced stages of ovarian cancer.
IP chemotherapy can have difficult side effects (including abdominal pain, nerve irritation and fatigue) that prompt many women to stop treatment before the full course is delivered. However, it is an important tool in treating ovarian cancer and patients can safely get through most treatments with adjustments and a comprehensive, compassionate, supportive team.
Primary Peritoneal Cancer
More rarely diagnosed, extra-ovarian primary peritoneal carcinoma (EOPPC) is a cancer closely related to epithelial ovarian cancer. It occurs outside the ovary in the peritoneum, which is the lining of the abdomen. Because it occurs outside the ovary, women who have had their ovaries removed can still develop this type of cancer.
EOPPC can mimic ovarian cancer in terms of symptoms and can also cause an increase in the CA-125 tumor marker, a protein associated with a higher risk of ovarian cancer.
A Range of Options
In addition to intraperitoneal chemotherapy, the specialists at Westchester Medical Center’s Division of Gynecologic Oncology offer numerous other treatment options for treating ovarian and other gynecological cancers, including both traditional and minimally invasive state-of-the-art laparoscopic surgery, alternative chemotherapies, hormone and radiation treatments and reconstructive surgery following treatment.
Our address is:
Advanced OB/GYN Oncology
19 Bradhurst Avenue
Suite 3090 North
Hawthorne, NY 10532
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