Our 24/7 cancer helpline provides information and answers for people dealing with cancer. We can connect you with trained cancer information specialists who will answer questions about a cancer diagnosis and provide guidance and a compassionate ear.
Our highly trained specialists are available 24/7 via phone and on weekdays can assist through video calls and online chat. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with essential services and resources at every step of their cancer journey. Ask us how you can get involved and support the fight against cancer. Some of the topics we can assist with include:
For medical questions, we encourage you to review our information with your doctor.
Radiation therapy uses high energy x-rays or particles to kill cancer cells. These x-rays may be given in a procedure that is much like having a regular x-ray. Aggressive chemotherapy is usually more effective, so radiation therapy is rarely used in this country as the main treatment for ovarian cancer. However, it can be useful in treating areas where the cancer has spread, either near the main tumor or in a distant organ, like the brain or spinal cord.
This is the most common type of radiation therapy for women with ovarian cancer. External radiation therapy is much like getting an x-ray, but the radiation is stronger. A machine focuses the radiation on the area affected by the cancer. The procedure itself is painless. Each treatment lasts only a few minutes, but the setup time—getting you into place for treatment—usually takes longer. Treatments are given 5 days a week for several weeks.
Some common side effects include:
These side effects improve after treatment is stopped. Skin changes gradually fade, and the skin returns to normal in 6 to 12 months.
If you are having side effects from radiation, tell your cancer care team. There may be ways to manage them.
Brachytherapy, also known as internal radiation, is another way to deliver radiation therapy. Instead of aiming radiation beams from outside the body, a device containing radioactive seeds or pellets is placed inside the body, near the cancer. This is rarely done for ovarian cancer.
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
Cannistra SA, Gershenson DM, Recht A. Ch 76 - Ovarian cancer, fallopian tube carcinoma, and peritoneal carcinoma. In: DeVita VT, Hellman S, Rosenberg SA, eds. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015.
Morgan M, Boyd J, Drapkin R, Seiden MV. Ch 89 – Cancers Arising in the Ovary. In: Abeloff MD, Armitage JO, Lichter AS, Niederhuber JE, Kastan MB, McKenna WG, eds. Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2014: 1592.
National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)--Ovarian Cancer Including Fallopian Tube Cancer and Primary Peritoneal Cancer. V2.2018. Accessed February 5, 2018, from https://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/pdf/ovarian.pdf
Last Revised: April 11, 2018