Ovarian Cancer Chemotherapy and Radiation

Chemotherapy

The second line of defense against ovarian cancer is typically chemotherapy treatment, using drugs to kill cancer cells. This may be prescribed before or after surgery and may be administered in different ways:

  • By vein (IV): The drugs can be given through a thin tube inserted into a vein.
  • By vein and directly into the abdomen: Some women get IV chemotherapy along with intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy. For IP chemotherapy, the drugs are given through a thin tube inserted into the abdomen.
  • By mouth: Some drugs for fallopian tube cancer can be given by mouth.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is rarely used in the initial treatment of ovarian cancer, but it may be used to relieve pain and other problems caused by the disease. Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. A large machine directs radiation at the body. The treatment is given at a hospital or clinic and each session takes only a few minutes.