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Advanced Ovarian Cancer: Treatment Complications

Most of the cancer treatments can trigger other problems. If there is ovarian cancer treatment going then one has to be aware of the possible complications and how to handle them. As everyone will respond to treatment differently, here are some of the most common complications:

Infection: Chemotherapy, when done, destroys the rapidly dividing cancer cells in the body. But at the same time, the treatment sometimes ends up destroying healthy cells also. The type of healthy blood cell those are often damaged are the ones responsible for creating white blood cells. White blood cells help in fighting against bacteria and germs. Thereby risk for infection increases when the patient has lower white blood cell count.

Bleeding and Bruising: Advanced ovarian cancer treatments may damage your platelets. Platelets are cells that help stop bleeding. Without enough platelets, the patient may experience bleeding and may develop frequent bruises.

Loss of Fertility and Menopause: In such type of cancer, some patients will need to have portions of their reproductive system removed in order to get treated for cancer. If ovaries are removed, the patient will have menopause if patient hasn’t previously gone through it. Also, there will be a loss of fertility.

Leukemia: Though it is very rare, chemotherapy treatment may also damage the bone marrow. This could eventually lead to leukemia.

Kidney Damage: There are types of chemotherapy drugs which have shown the cause of permanent kidney damage. Your doctor can administer fluids both before and after chemotherapy treatment which helps to prevent this damage.

Neuropathy: There are also types of chemotherapy drugs like cisplatin, paclitaxel (Taxol), and docetaxel (Taxotere), which have shown to cause nerve damage or neuropathy.

Hernias: There is a risk of developing a hernia after cancer surgery. A hernia occurs when a weak point in the muscular wall develops. This hole allows organs and tissue to push out through the opening. As a result, the patient may develop a hernia.

Perforations: There are some targeted ovarian cancer treatments which may lead to holes in colon. These holes are called perforations which leads to severe infection. Additional surgeries and medications may be required to fix perforations.

Problems with the Port: If the patient is undergoing chemotherapy treatment, there can be a problem related to the port. Through this port, chemotherapy treatments is directly given into your bloodstream. Over time, the port can become infected. This may lead to additional problems and complications.

Other Complications: Each type of treatment in cancer has its own unique side effects and complications. Patients undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer may also have these complications:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Hair loss
  • Hearing Loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mouth sores
  • Rashes on the hands and feet
  • Bone thinning
  • skin changes, including peeling and blistering