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What happens after stage three ovarian cancer?

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad Sareer Khalil

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2012

Answered : 2920 Questions

Posted on Tue, 12 Aug 2014 in Cervical and Ovarian Cancer
Question: My 87 year old mother has ovarian cancer, stage 3. She had chemo and the ca 125 went down to 9. After several months, the nodules in her abdomen have increased and are around her liver. Her ca 125 is 770. What can we expect?
Answered by Dr. Muhammad Sareer Khalil 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
hello and welcome,

I really appreciate your concern.

Ovarian cancers are most commonly diagnosed at stage 3. but the fact that liver metastases are present means its stage 4 which shows distant metastases.

Ovarian cancer spreads by exfoliation/seeding. spread of METS to liver and rectum shows a stage 4 patient.

the most common cause of demise in advance ovarian cancer patients is bowel obstruction. unfortunately, prognosis for stage 4 ovarian cancer is not good. 5 year survival for stage 3 patient is 20 % and for stage 4 its 6% of the total patient population.

if a woman is healthy enough she can undergo debulking surgery in stage 3 and even in stage 4 nowadays. surgery in stage 3 has survival benefit but in stage 4 the survival benefit is questionable.

Your mother even if diagnosed at stage 3, the anesthesiologist and surgeon would have been hesitant to perform such an invasive surgery at her age especially if there were additional or pre existing medical problems/conditions

the only option that is practical for her at this stage is palliative chemotherapy in consultation with the oncologist.

let me know if you have any query.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Follow up: Dr. Muhammad Sareer Khalil 13 hours later
How long will it be before she is in a lot of pain? How long do patients in her condition usually live?
Answered by Dr. Muhammad Sareer Khalil 3 hours later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:

Both your questions have the same answer , the survival and the painful phase both depend upon how the metastases progresses. the progression of METS and there response to palliative chemo is quite unpredictable. If brain is involved first, then she may slip into a coma and may not experience the painful bone metastases or bowel obstruction.

As I mentioned earlier with respect to survival rates that only 6 % of patients in stage 4 have a 5 year survival rate, meaning very few patients even after chemotherapy survive 5 years after stage 4, the exact time cant be assessed as many factors influence the outcome like the malignant potential of tumor, co-morbidities and response to therapy.

Let me know if you have any further queries.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T

The User accepted the expert's answer

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