My mom who is 55 years old just had a hysterectomy and had a low level of 9 for the CA-125. She had a cyst on her ovary and was growing so she had the hysterectomy. She just got the test results back and the Doctor confirmed Stage 1a cancer. He said it was confined to the ovary, but he suggests chemotherapy for 6 treatments as an "insurance policy". My question with this early of a stage, is it possible for the cancer to come back if she is on taxol and carboplatin- would this be the best combination? There is no family history of any cancer...
You ask a really good question. We (the oncology community) do not really know what is the best thing to do for stage Ia ovarian cancer.
There are two big concerns:
-Is it really stage I Cancer? It turns out that 20% of women with what is called Stage I cancer actually have spread off the ovary if enough biopsies are performed. So that means that 20% of what we call stage I cancer are actually more advanced. So oncologists will base a decision about postoperative chemotherapy on how many biopsies are actually done at the surgery. How many lymph nodes were checked and so forth.
-Second concern is that certain stage one grades are fast growing and have a risk of recurrence even when multiple biopsies around the abdomen are negative for spread. Cancers in this category include "grade 3 " cancers which means they are rapidly growing and the clear cell subtype.
As far as chemotherapy, the present standard of care is taxol and carboplatin.
The Doctor actually said that he would call the cancer stage 1, but the medical community would call it Stage 2. It was confined to the ovaries, and he said some fluid leaked on the pelvic wall, but he said that they removed everything from the hysterectomy. He called the Chemo an "insurance policy" and said 6 treatments should be sufficient. I am not sure the "grade" of the tumor....does this help at all?
What would be the percentages of recurrence at this stage?
Also, I am confused by the 5 year survival rate....there is no percentage for Stage 2? And does this take in effect all ages? Does the medical community only use 5 year survival for all cancers? What is the reason? It seems as though, numerous people live a lot longer....
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