According to the American Cancer Society, the standard treatment for women with early-stage , low-risk epithelial ovarian cancer is surgical removal of the ovaries , fallopian tubes, and the uterus (womb) with a comprehensive staging operation. The aim of surgery for this favorable group of patients is cure of the disease. The prognosis for early-stage, low-risk ovarian cancer is so good with a high cure rate (exceeding 90%) following surgery that additional therapy with chemotherapy or radiation therapy is generally not required.
Appropriate candidates for surgery alone followed by observation include women with:
Stage IA or IB
Grade 1 or 2 (low-grade and considered low-risk for cancer recurrence) and,
Non-clear cell type of ovarian cancer
Some ovarian cancer experts consider grade 2 cancers to be in the high-risk category for cancer recurrence and recommend chemotherapy following surgery (adjuvant chemotherapy). This issue and the treatment decision require a careful discussion with the doctor. Women receiving surgery only followed by observation (also referred to as “watchful waiting”) should be followed carefully after surgery with routine pelvic examinations and measurement of CA-125 blood levels.
Pat will be writing tomorrow. I will continue my series on ovarian cancer treatment Tuesday. Feel good and keep smiling! Pattie