Recent research compared treatments for locally advanced cervical cancer and the effect of different lymph node (tiny, bean-shaped organs that help fight infection) removal techniques for early-stage cervical cancer. Another study looked at when to start treatment for ovarian cancer recurrence. In addition, a national survey provided information about discussing fertility preservation. More details about these studies are included below:
- A study showed that adding the drug gemcitabine (Gemzar) to treatment with cisplatin (Platinol) chemotherapy and radiation therapy extends survival for women in developing countries with locally advanced cervical cancer. Women receiving gemcitabine had more side effects from treatment than those receiving chemotherapy and radiation therapy; low blood cell counts and gastrointestinal problems were most common.
- Another study showed that most women with early-stage cervical cancer can have a sentinel lymph node biopsy instead of lymph node removal. In this procedure, one to three lymph nodes are removed to find out if the cancer has spread. Lymph node removal is a more invasive procedure and comes with more complications after surgery.
- In a study on ovarian cancer, researchers found that starting treatment early for ovarian cancer recurrence based on CA125 protein levels alone does not increase survival when compared with delaying treatment until a woman has symptoms of a recurrence. CA125 can be a marker for ovarian cancer and is measured with a blood test.
- A national survey of oncologists found that most discuss fertility preservation with patients of childbearing age, but only a quarter of them refer patients to reproductive specialists or provide educational materials.
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