If you have cancer, your treatment plan will depend on the location of the tumor, the stage of the cancer, your age, and other factors such as your general health. Whatever treatment plan your physician specifies will be carefully discussed with you, and you will have the resources of the Brown Cancer Center’s state-of-the-art technology and most advanced methods of treatment available. Treatment options may include one or a combination of the following:
Patients in good health are often offered surgery as treatment for gynecologic cancer. This surgery may include removing the cancer cells, tumor and/or infected tissue. If the cancer has progressed, some or all of the affected organ may be removed. In many cases, it is possible to perform minimally-invasive surgery with a laparoscope or with the da Vinci Si Surgical System. This enables you to recover from surgery much quicker with fewer complications, and in many cases leave the hospital within one to two days from surgery.
Radiation therapy, which is also called radiotherapy, uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. Before you undergo radiation, a radiation oncologist and physicist plan the precise delivery of the radiation to minimize radiation to your vital organs and maximize the radiation to the affected area.
Biologic therapy is a treatment that uses the patient’s immune system to fight cancer. Substances made by the body or made in a laboratory are used to boost, direct, or restore the body’s natural defenses against cancer.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. The drugs enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body. Chemotherapy may be recommended to kill any remaining cancer cells following surgery, or to control cancer growth and relieve symptoms. Most chemotherapy drugs are given intravenously or by catheter.
Intraperitoneal (IP) Chemotherapy
During intraperitoneal chemotherapy, the chemotherapy is delivered directly into the abdominal or peritoneal cavity. As a result of clinical trials conducted at the Brown Cancer Center and elsewhere, the National Cancer Institute suggests that IP chemotherapy should be offered to all women with advanced ovarian cancer following optimal initial surgery.
Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC)
Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) is done in conjunction with the surgical removal of cancerous tumors and cells. Chemotherapy is heated and circulated directly into the peritoneal cavity.
Brown Cancer Center surgical oncologists and gynecologic oncologists are among the nation’s few highly trained physicians that specialize in this leading edge treatment plan. Please speak to your gynecologic oncologist about participating in possible clinical trials of this treatment.
Targeted therapy is a type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific cancer cells without harming normal cells.
Hormonal therapy keeps cancer cells from getting the hormones they need to grow. Like chemotherapy, hormonal therapy can affect the cancer cells throughout the body. In general, with hormonal therapy, you will not suffer hair loss or many of the other side-effects associated with chemotherapy.
Clinical Trials and Research
In addition to using the most advanced methods of diagnosis and treatment, the Brown Cancer Center is constantly examining new approaches to cancer treatment. Brown Cancer Center physicians participate in and initiate a wide range of ongoing clinical trials and research, giving you access to new therapies that may not yet be available in other parts of the world.
If you have general questions about your condition, the Brown Cancer Center, or free services available to you and your loved ones, please contact the M. Krista Loyd Resource Center at 502.562.4158 or 866.530.5516.