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How Long Are Chemo Treatments for Ovarian Cancer?

Chemotherapy is a kind of treatment used for ovarian cancer that utilizes powerful drugs to destroy cancer cells. The specific kind, dosage and length of a patient’s chemotherapy is determined with many individual factors in mind, including the type and stage of the cancer as well as the patient’s age, overall health and health care preferences. In many cases, ovarian cancer chemotherapy is administered in three to six cycles, with each cycle involving a schedule of set chemotherapy doses followed by a rest period during which the patient can recover.

Just like the dosage and length of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer will vary from patient to patient, there is no single chemotherapy drug that is best for all ovarian cancer patients. That said, physicians commonly recommend some combination of the following:

  • Cisplatin
  • Carboplatin
  • Docetaxel
  • Paclitaxel

Chemotherapy for ovarian cancer can be delivered in one of several ways. For example, it can be taken orally in the form of a pill, injected into a vein or through a catheter into the abdomen, a process called intraperitoneal chemo.

How soon after ovarian cancer surgery does chemo start?

Chemotherapy for ovarian cancer may be given before or after surgery to remove the tumor. If administered before, the primary goal of the chemotherapy is to shrink the tumor so that it can be more easily removed. If it is administered after the surgery, the goal of the chemotherapy is to destroy any cancer cells that may still be in the patient’s body. When chemotherapy is needed after surgery, treatment typically begins as soon as the patient is deemed healthy enough to withstand the treatment and its side effects.

In Moffitt Cancer Center’s gynecological clinic, our gynecologic oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists and other professionals collaborate to review every new case, ensuring each patient’s treatment plan reflects the unique challenges of her cancer.  If you would like to discuss your ovarian cancer treatment options with an expert at Moffitt, call 1-888-663-3488 or fill out a new patient registration form online, with or without a referral, to request a consultation.