Ovarian cancer is a dangerous disease. At its early stages, it is asymptomatic. In many patients the malignant process has spread throughout the body at the time of diagnosis, and then the disease becomes difficult to treat. But if ovarian cancer is detected at the beginning of its development, the chance of recovery and even preservation of reproductive function is high.
Ovarian cancer is a malignant disease that usually affects women over the age of 50, but also can develop at an early age. However, in patients of older age groups, ovarian cancer is diagnosed more often. Ovarian cancer is very widespread and ranks second after cervical cancer in the structure of oncological diseases in women.
The presence of a pelvic tumor in combination with ascites usually indicates ovarian cancer, but in some cases, it may be Meigs syndrome (benign ovarian fibroma with ascites and right-sided hydrothorax). Benign functional cysts in young women can also simulate malignant tumors.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer at the early stages are not distinctive, so they can be easily confused with the clinical manifestations of another disease. Ovarian cancer is characterized by latent development, which leads to late diagnosis and high mortality rates.
The group of patients at risk includes:
- Patients with a genetic predisposition or family history of ovarian and breast cancer
- Patients who have not had pregnancies
- Older patients (the risk of developing ovarian cancer increases with age)
- Overweight patients
- Patients that have been taking fertility medicine for a long time
It has been proven that the risk of ovarian cancer is increased significantly in taking fertility drugs that stimulate ovulation. The risk increases even more if patients do not become pregnant while taking the drug.
Most women with advanced ovarian cancer have nonspecific symptoms (e.g., indigestion, bloating, early satiety, gas pain, and back pain). Then, as a rule, there are pelvic pain, anemia, cachexia, and an enlarged abdomen due to an increase of the ovary or ascites development.
Ovarian cancer may manifest itself in the form of:
- Tumors of unknown etiology in the pelvic area
- Bowel changes
- Unintentional weight loss
- Sudden abdominal pain
Some women report severe abdominal pain associated with the torsion of the ovarian tumor.
At the early stages, ovarian cancer is usually asymptomatic. Tumors of the uterine appendages, that are often solid and heterogeneous, can be discovered by chance. They are usually detected during vaginal and rectal examinations.
Instrumental diagnostics of ovarian cancer includes:
- Vaginal examination, which clarifies the condition of the uterus and the condition of the uterine appendages
- Ultrasound scanning of the pelvic organs and retroperitoneal space
- Computed tomography (CT) of the pelvic organs with intravenous contrast enhancement
With the help of the CT technique and the use of a contrast agent, images of the body are taken in different projections, thus helping to obtain detailed information about organs and systems of the patient’s body. This study allows identifying the presence of a tumor, as well as estimating the stage of the process.
- CA-125 tumor marker test
- Complete blood count, biochemical blood tests, coagulation test, urinalysis
- Blood tests for hepatitis B, C, as well as the test for syphilis (if a surgery is scheduled)
- ECG (electrocardiogram)
- Diagnostic laparotomy
Laparotomy allows for a thorough revision of the abdominal and retroperitoneal organs, contributes to the morphological verification of the diagnosis, determination of the features of the tumor, and, most importantly, allows performing surgery for the tumor complete or partial removal.
Ovarian cancer is a widespread oncogynecological disease, ranking second in the frequency of occurrence and first in mortality. Among all oncological pathologies in women, ovarian cancer is in fourth place in mortality.
The main methods of ovarian cancer treatment are surgery, drug therapy, and radiation therapy.
At present, surgery is of paramount importance as an independent method and as the stage of the complex treatment protocols.
The standard of primary treatment for advanced ovarian cancer is cytoreductive surgery followed by hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). Most patients achieve initial clinical remission using such a combination of surgery and chemotherapy.
Cytoreductive surgery in combination with HIPEC represents a comprehensive treatment approach aimed at the destruction of the tumor, which is considered the most effective method in the treatment of ovarian cancer. This treatment includes the surgical removal of visible tumor and the HIPEC chemotherapy procedure to destroy the microscopic residual malignant cells.
Cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion (HIPEC) provides promising results for patients with advanced primary or recurrent ovarian cancer. For many patients, combination therapy strategy is more beneficial than standard cytoreductive surgery without hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy.
The essence of the HIPEC technique includes the following. Immediately after a cytoreductive surgery on the peritoneum and abdominal organs, the patient is perfused with a chemotherapeutic solution for 60-90 minutes. The abdominal cavity is washed with a concentrated solution of a chemotherapy drug, heated additionally up to 42-43°C.
The goal of HIPEC is to destroy the maximum of tumor cells that would inevitably remain even after the most careful surgical removal of the malignant lesions.
There is a certain amount of skepticism about HIPEC chemotherapy based on technical difficulties and the potential risk of complications. However, hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion (HIPEC) combines advantages of intracavitary administration of a chemotherapy drug (local dose increase), as well as hyperthermia (selective antitumor effect of the method, increased drugs effect, and penetration depth).
The properties that make HIPEC the truly unique technique include:
- Postoperative adhesions in the abdominal cavity do not interfere with drug penetration
- During the procedure, intra-abdominal chemotherapy is carried out following strictly standardized rules, and the surgeon can optimally control the time of the chemotherapy
- The hyperthermic component of the HIPEC increases the cytotoxic effect of chemotherapeutic agents
It is obvious that today, in order to improve long-term results in patients with ovarian cancer, the treatment strategy should be modified.
Cytoreductive surgery can significantly improve outcomes and should be recommended in the treatment of ovarian cancer. The advantage of HIPEC chemotherapy in comparison with the systemic administration of chemotherapy has been proven by numerous studies in medicine.
According to the studies, cytoreductive surgery is the most significant measure for survival in patients with ovarian cancer. HIPEC chemotherapy improves survival and quality of life. HIPEC chemotherapy after the surgery is another treatment approach that has shown long-term improvement in clinical trials.
Where can I undergo CRS and HIPEC treatment in Germany?
Health tourism is becoming more and more popular these days, as medicine in Germany often ensures a much better quality of ovarian cancer treatment.
The following hospitals show the best success rates in ovarian cancer treatment with CRS and HIPEC in Germany:
- University Hospital Tuebingen
- University Hospital Ulm
- University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden
- University Hospital Frankfurt am Main
- Charite University Hospital Berlin
You can find more information about the hospitals in Germany on the Booking Health website.
The cost of treatment in Germany
The prices in hospitals listed on the Booking Health website are relatively low. With Booking Health, you can undergo ovarian cancer treatment with CRS and HIPEC abroad at an affordable price.
The cost of treatment varies, as the price depends on the hospital, specifics of the disease, and the complexity of its treatment.
The cost of treatment with HIPEC and CRS in Germany is 38,009-67,767 EUR.
You also need to consider the cost of possible additional procedures and follow-up care. Therefore, the ultimate cost of treatment may differ from the initial price.
To make sure that the overall cost of treatment is suitable for you, contact us by leaving the request on the Booking Health website.
How can I undergo CRS and HIPEC treatment in Germany?
It is not easy to self-organize any treatment abroad. It requires certain knowledge and expertise. Thus, it is safer, easier, and less stressful to shift some responsibility onto a medical tourism agency.
As the largest and most transparent medical tourism agency in the world, Booking Health has up-to-date information about ovarian cancer treatment with CRS and HIPEC in the best hospitals in Germany. Therefore, we will help you select the right clinic taking into account your wishes for treatment in Germany.
We want to help you and take on all the troubles. You can be free of unnecessary stress, while Booking Health takes care of all organizational issues regarding the treatment. Our services aimed at you safely and successfully undergoing ovarian cancer treatment in Germany with CRS and HIPEC.
Medical tourism can be easy! All you need to do is to leave a request on the Booking Health website, and our manager will contact you shortly.