According to the American Cancer Society, ovarian cancer accounts for 3% of all cancers among US women and is the second most common gynecologic cancer. Despite important advances in the treatment of ovarian cancer, it remains the leading cause of cancer death in US women from gynecologic cancers and comprises 6% of all female cancer deaths. The American Cancer Society expects approximately 21,550 new cases and 14,600 deaths in the US during 2009 (ACS Cancer Facts and Figures, 2009). However, the good news is that between the years 2001-2005, ovarian cancer incidence declined at a rate of 2.4% per year.

Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Surgery usually includes removal of the uterus and one or both ovaries and fallopian tubes. In very early tumors, only the involved ovary will be removed, especially in young women who desire more children. In advanced disease, as much disease as possible is removed to enhance the effects of postoperative chemotherapy.

Treatment for ovarian cancer continues to evolve and important advances are being achieved, providing patients more choices and improvements in survival and quality of life. Clinical trials will continue to play a very important role in the progress against this disease and patients are encouraged to consider participation in a clinical trial.

Every other day or so I will be passing along information about treatment options for ovarian Cancer. As an ovarian cancer survivor, I am encouraged by the progress oncologists have made using new treatment combinations. I’m OK now. I hope you are too! Feel good and keep smiling! Pattie

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