It’s one of the most common cancer killers for women. Doctors say while there’s no way to screen for ovarian cancer there are ways to treat it early.
Dr. Fadi Abu Shahin, a gynecologic oncologist on the medical staff of Lee Health, says each year 23,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. “The problem with ovarian cancer is a majority of women are diagnosed with advanced stage so the mortality rate of ovarian cancer is much higher.”
Doctors say the symptoms are few and many go unnoticed, like bloating, change in appetite, or indigestion. There’s no way to screen for ovarian cancer, but if a patient is predisposed to the cancer there are new early treatments. “One of the new, recent, exciting things that we have in the treatments of ovarian cancer is targeted therapies. So women that we know that carry the mutation are now candidates for targeted therapy for ovarian cancer,” said Dr. Abu Shahin.
Targeted therapy focuses on treating the specific mutations in the cells. “This is an exciting step beyond the chemotherapy, which targets all the cells in our body, cancer and normal cells,” said Dr. Abu Shahin.
Doctors say targeted therapy is an option for women who are predisposed to ovarian cancer. “Women who have a strong family history of ovarian and breast cancer should be evaluated to find out if they carry genes that predispose to that cancer,” said Dr. Abu Shahin.
If a patient is diagnosed with ovarian cancer other treatments are chemotherapy and surgery.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.