Adjuvant (Protective) Chemotherapy in Ovarian Cancer
The main treatment in early ovarian cancer is surgery. However, after surgery, the disease may be likely to cause recurrence. To reduce the likelihood of this recurrence, the treatment is called adjuvant chemotherapy.
The higher the disease stage, the higher the risk of recurrence. For example, in stage 1 where the disease is not limited to the lymph nodes or surrounding organs where the disease is limited only in the ovary, the risk of recurrence is 15-20%. However, this ratio reaches 40 percent in the high-risk group of stage 1. The risk of recurrence of the disease is 30-40% in stage 2 where the disease is limited in the ovaries and lower abdominal organs and does not go to the infants. The risk of postoperative recurrence is 60-80% in stage 3 where the disease is spread to the abdomen or lymph nodes in the upper abdomen except the ovary.
The preventive treatment is the treatment given to eliminate the disease present at the cellular level, which cannot be detected by visual or imaging, so is micrometastatic. One important point to note, however, is timing. After the operation, adjuvant chemotherapy should be started until the 6th week and at the latest at the 8th week. Otherwise, it loses its protective properties. Adjuvant chemotherapy regimens have been determined as a result of controlled scientific studies involving a large number of patients, lasting for many years. The number of adjuvant chemotherapy can vary from 4-6, depending on the stage.