Cancer Care Center

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Services and Programs

Ovarian Cancer Treatments

How Is Ovarian Cancer Treated? 
Our Team 
Cancer Clinical Trials 
Cancer Support Services 
Additional Support from Patient Navigators, Nutritionists, and Social Workers  

How Is Ovarian Cancer Treated?

The treatment for ovarian cancer often consists of a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. Multiple factors, including the stage of the disease, your general health, and age are taken into account when making this decision. Your doctor will discuss your specific treatment options with you.

Surgery

Most patients will have surgery performed as part of their treatment plan. The goal with surgical treatment is to remove as much of the cancer as possible, a process called debulking. If ovarian cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, then the surgeon (gynecologic oncologist) has a greater chance of removing all of the cancer and curing the patient. If patients are diagnosed at later stages, they may require one or more surgical procedures.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses drugs to treat cancer. The drugs are either taken orally or injected through a vein directly into the bloodstream. There are several chemotherapy drugs that can be used to treat ovarian cancer. Your physician (medical oncologist) will discuss these options with you to determine the best treatment plan. Usually patients are treated with one chemotherapy drug or two chemotherapy drugs, the second treatment also known as combination therapy. Some patients may experience side effects while undergoing chemotherapy treatment. These side effects may include nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, fatigue, hair loss, mouth sores, and hand and foot rashes. However, in recent years, chemotherapy treatments and medications to manage symptoms have improved significantly, making it easier to tolerate treatment side effects.

Our Team

BMC’s comprehensive ovarian cancer team includes physicians who work in surgical oncology specific to gynecology, radiation oncology, and medical oncology. Our patient-centered, multidisciplinary approach assures each patient benefits from the collaborative expertise of physicians uniquely focused on their individual needs. Meet our team. 

Cancer Clinical Trials

Cancer researchers are dedicated to understanding the causes of ovarian cancer and improving treatment options. Promising new techniques in the diagnosis, treatment, and care of patients with cancer are tested in research studies called clinical trials. A research nurse will screen all willing patients who may benefit from a new practice or drug to determine if they are eligible to participate in a study. For more information on clinical trials, ask your physician or nurse.

BMC offers a number of clinical trials specifically for ovarian cancer patients to advance new treatment options for patients. The number and types of clinical trials available are constantly changing. View an up-to-date list of ongoing trials here. If you are interested in participating in any clinical trials at BMC, please talk with your physician.

Cancer Support Services

To learn more about the various services we offer our cancer patients and to view our most recent quarterly newsletter and event calendar, please visit our Cancer Support Services website.

Ovarian Cancer Support Group

The Ovarian Cancer Support Group at BMC has been meeting regularly since 2006. The support group provides patients with an alternative source of support and helps patients to cope with their cancer diagnosis. These groups are an opportunity to discuss, learn, and share with others who have had similar experiences or lifestyle changes associated with having ovarian cancer. The group meets on the third Tuesday of the month from 6:00-7:30 PM. There are often pre-arranged activities that may include massage therapy, arts and crafts, acupuncture, and more.  

For more information on BMC’s Ovarian Cancer Support Group, please contact Cancer Support Services at 617.638.7540 or cancersupport@bmc.org.

Additional Support

Patient Navigators

Patients have the option of working with a patient navigator who may provide support services related to their care.  Patient navigators may be useful in providing assistance for the following services:

  • Appointment Reminders:  The time dedicated to treating ovarian cancer varies from patient to patient, but many patients visit the hospital multiple times throughout their treatment.  If needed, patient navigators are available to remind patients of their appointments.

  • Transportation:  Patients come to BMC from a variety of cities and neighborhoods, thus transportation options are different for everyone.  Patient navigators are dedicated to helping patients find the best way to get to BMC, while taking into account travel time and financial considerations. In addition, patient navigators may be able to recommend resources to help cover costs associated with travel. 

  • Health Insurance:  Health insurance plans are very complex.  Whether you have health insurance or not, patient navigators are available to help.

  • Community Resources:  There are a variety of community resources available to ease the burden of cancer.  Patient navigators are able to connect patients to these services and assist with applications and paperwork.

Social Workers

Social workers are available to provide additional support services to patients and families and to help with emotional, psychological, and social service needs. They are available on inpatient and outpatient units. Social workers can meet with you before or after your doctor’s appointment. You can discuss these options with your physician or ask for a referral.

Nutritionists

If you have concerns about your diet and nutrition during the course of your cancer treatment, you can meet with one of our nutritionists to discuss your dietary concerns. Nutritionists are also available to meet with you before or after your other appointments. Please talk with your physician or social worker if you are interested in seeing a nutritionist.

 

Appointments

Call: 800.682.2862

Boston Medical Center
Moakley Building
830 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118

Learn More

Quick Links

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Downloads (PDF)

BMC Campus Map
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Cancer Program Annual Report 
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