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Medications

Chemotherapy is used to shrink ovarian cancer and slow cancer growth. Chemotherapy is recommended for most women after the initial surgery for ovarian cancer. But sometimes chemotherapy is given to shrink the cancer before surgery. The number of cycles of treatment will depend on the stage of your disease.

Chemotherapy medicines for ovarian cancer may be taken by mouth, injected into a vein (IV), or given through a thin tube into the body (intraperitoneal, or IP). Sometimes treatments may be combined to give women both IV and IP chemotherapy.

Recommended Related to Ovarian Cancer

Understanding Ovarian Cancer -- Diagnosis & Treatment

If an ovarian growth is suspected, an ultrasound of the ovaries is done. If any abnormality is detected, further testing will be done. Tests include blood studies, CT scans, barium enema X-rays, colonoscopy, MRI, and chest X-rays to help evaluate the extent of the cancer. Ultimately, the surgical opening of the abdomen (exploratory laparotomy) is necessary to confirm or rule out an ovarian cancer diagnosis. Genetic testing may be useful for women who have a family history of ovarian, uterine (endometrial),...

Read the Understanding Ovarian Cancer -- Diagnosis & Treatment article > >

Medicine choices

Some of the chemotherapy medicines used for ovarian cancer include:

Other medicines that may be used include:

Treatment of ovarian cancer with chemotherapy can cause nausea and vomiting. To help relieve nausea, your doctor will prescribe medicines you can take with your treatments and when you get home.

What to think about

Having both IV and IP chemotherapy often causes more serious side effects than having only IV or IP treatment. Side effects include belly pain, nerve pain (neuropathy), and kidney or liver problems. Your medical team will watch you closely. If your doctor has given you instructions or medicines to treat your symptoms, be sure to follow them.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 28, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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