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RECURRENT OVARIAN CANCER

ANCHOR LEAD: IS THERE ANY BENEFIT TO EARLY DETECTION AND TREATMENT OF RECURRENT OVARIAN CANCER?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

When ovarian cancer comes back, finding it and treating it early doesn’t seem to prolong survival, a study in the Lancet found.  Deborah Armstrong, an ovarian cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, offers her interpretation of the study.

A RMSTRONG:  Documenting a recurrence early may not be of benefit to the patient.  What happens in patients who recur early is you try to balance off the fact that with time, whatever cells are remaining lose some of their resistance to chemotherapy and become more sensitive with time.  On the other hand you have more volume as time goes on because the cells are replicating.  At least early on the more sensitive the cells are is probably more important than the volume, so that diagnosing someone at four months and treating them then versus diagnosing them at nine months and treating them then, the patient is probably better off.    :32

Armstrong says waiting until symptoms appear may be a choice for some women .   At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.


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