Updated Practice Guidelines for Ovarian Cancer

A major challenge in treating ovarian cancer is that by the time most patients are diagnosed with the disease, it has already progressed to stage III or IV. The difficult-to-examine location of the ovaries deep in the pelvis tends to prevent physicians from detecting ovarian cancer at a more curable stage. Until recently, patients with the disease were often thought to exhibit no symptoms during the earliest stages of the disease. Recent studies have demonstrated that certain symptoms are more common in women with ovarian cancer when compared with women in the general population. Up to 90% of women with the disease will experience symptoms earlier. Symptoms suggestive of ovarian cancer include bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency), particularly if the symptoms are new (onset within the past year) and frequent (occurring more than 12 days per month). However, these symptoms are non-specific and are often mistaken for other conditions. Awareness of symptoms may allow physicians to detect ovarian cancer earlier. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recently released clinical practice guidelines in oncology for ovarian cancer. One of the new revisions is an emphasis on the possibility that early-stage symptoms of ovarian cancer may be present. “Improving screening methods and early detection remain the key for women with ovarian cancer,” says Robert J. Morgan, Jr., MD, FACP who chaired the NCCN panel that developed the guidelines. Managing Allergic Reactions Chemotherapy drugs have the potential to cause infusion reactions, either during an infusion or following completion of an infusion. Reactions to platinum drugs (eg, carboplatin and cisplatin) tend...