10 Questions To Ask Before Starting Treatment For Ovarian Cancer

10 Questions To Ask Before Starting Treatment For Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is more prevalent among women who have reached the age of menopause. Women who have close relatives with the disease are also at a greater risk of being diagnosed with it. Ovarian cancer occurs when normal cells in the ovary turn abnormal and, in advanced stages, spread to other parts of the body.

The initial symptom of ovarian cancer is increase in the size of the abdomen and bloating, though these symptoms do not necessarily always indicate at cancer in the ovary. The required medical tests, under the instructions of an experienced health professional, have to be conducted to diagnose the reason for the abdominal anomalies.  An imaging test like CT scan, ultrasound or both, and a blood test, known as CA-125, are usually recommended to diagnose the cause of the symptoms. If the tests point towards ovarian cancer, the stage of the disease needs to be determined to decide on the next line of treatment. For instance, when patients approach Dr. Amish Vasant Dalal, he closely examines their medical tests and advises surgery, if required.

It helps a patient when she is conscious and well aware about her medical condition. Here is a list of some of the essential questions that a patient needs to ask doctors before starting the treatment for ovarian cancer:

What type of ovarian cancer do I have?

Ovarian cancer be broadly categorised on the basis of their origin of growth – in the cells that produce eggs in the ovary, along the inner wall of the organ (epithelium), or in the cells that produce hormones. Being actively involved in the diagnosis process is a step towards staying updated regarding one’s own medical condition. Doctor Amish Dalal, with his expertise in oncology, can guide patients on the type of ovarian cancer that they have been diagnosed with.

What is the treatment that I need?

Chemotherapy is usually the recommended treatment. However, the healthcare professional may recommend that the patient explore other treatment methods like a surgery as a more effective treatment for the disease. In such cases, the patient needs to approach an oncologist for an opinion on the necessity of a surgery. Dr. Amish V Dalal, an accomplished Surgical Oncologist with 30 years of experience in the field, analyses the medical condition of his patients and recommends a surgery, if needed.

How do you administer chemotherapy?

There are usually two methods for administering chemotherapy – intraperitoneal and intravenous. Intraperitoneal chemo refers to injecting the drug directly into the abdominal cavity through a thin catheter, while for intravenous chemo, the drug is injected into veins. The chemotherapist assesses the suitability of these methods to each patient and administers the treatment accordingly.

What surgery is suitable for me?

A debulking surgery aims for a cytoreductive effort, that is, the aim to remove the cancerous tumour entirely, so there is no remaining residue. In certain instances when the tumour may have spread to the adjoining parts of the body, there may be a big tumour along with the presence of small tumours in the abdominal cavity. However, debulking may not always be a viable option for every patient. Hence, oncologists decide on the necessary course of treatment according to their discretion that is based on the patient’s medical condition. Amish Dalal reviews the condition of his patients and assesses the nature of the surgery to be undertaken.

What are the different procedures of surgery and the one that is suitable for me?

Patients also need to have a detailed discussion with their oncologist regarding the method of surgery best suited for them – open method, laproscopy and robotic surgery. Dr. Amish Dalal is experienced in all these methods of surgery. Patients can approach their oncologists to understand the dynamics of each of these methods of surgery, the suitability of each of these for them and reach a mutual decision.

Patients diagnosed with malignant tumours can book an appointment with Amish Dalal at Jaslok Hospital, Breach Candy Hospital, Bhatia General Hospital, Saifee Hospital or Parsee General Hospital.

Book an appointment today.


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