Does my aunt need chemotherapy?
Q: My 54 years old aunt was diagnosed with high grade serous adenocarcinoma of ovary one and a half years back and underwent surgery for the same. Stage of the disease was 1C and she is now undergoing chemotherapy regimen consisting of carboplatin and paclitaxel. The doctor initially advised six sessions of chemotherapy and now they are thinking about extending it to 12. She has been experiencing severe discomfort like vomiting, low platelet count, severe joint pain, etc. due to chemotherapy. The thought of 12 sessions of chemotherapy (5 are already completed) is disturbing her and the family. As per our information, ovarian cancer recurs after a few months in more than 60% of patients and when it recurs it is untreatable. Is it true?
A:If the diagnosis is confirmed as stage 1C, usually the recommended the treatment as per international guidelines is 6 cycles of chemotherapy with carboplatin and paclitaxel. Usually the treatment is extended only if there is any other poor prognostic features present or if the stage is more advanced. Please ask your doctor about the reasoning for extending the treatment beyond 6 cycles. She does not need radiation therapy. Since it is stage IC, her prognosis is reasonably good.