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Question - What is the life expectancy for a woman with ovarian cancer?:

My mother is 82 and recently had surgery for ovarian cancer which included removal of the fatty apron over her abdomen, filopian tubes, ovaries, and uterus. She will undergo chemotherapy in 3 weeks to treat the tumor nodules remaining in the area. The cancer did not affect, that we know of, the liver, small intestine or colon and she is otherwise very healthy. My question is, what is the normal life expectency of someone after undergoing this type of surgery and chemotherapy.

Guide Responds:

Ovarian cancer is very treatable when caught early. Unfortunately most cases are not caught early because there are are few symptons in the early stages and no definative screening tests.

When ovarian cancer is caught before it has spread outside the ovaries, 90+% will survive 5 years. But when diagnosed after the disease has spread the chance of five-year survival drops to less than 25%.

Your mother will also be at risk of infection as she undergoes chemotherapy. Chemotherapy lowers the immune response and makes those undergoing it more at risk for infections they are unable to fight.

I would suggest you discuss your questions with your physician.

You'll also find it helpful to talk with others who may have similar experiences or problems. The best places to do that are our Forums and Chatroom.

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