Depending on the nature of your gynecological cancer your physician may recommend a "systemic treatment" – chemotherapy or hormonal treatment – in order to target the cancer.
Administered on an outpatient basis before or after surgery, or in combination with radiation oncology, chemotherapy is the use of chemical or biologic agents to attack the cancer cells.
Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy – For this innovative form of chemotherapy in which John Muir Health specializes, high concentrations of anti-tumor agents are circulated through the abdomen after surgery to remove any remaining cancer cells via direct contact. Studies have shown that patients who undergo this technique have a better chance of survival after one year with the same quality of life as patients who undergo standard chemotherapy.
Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy – A variation that involves the heating of the chemotherapy agent in the abdomen, which allows for a greater penetration of the drugs into the malignant cancerous cells.
Sometimes used for endometrial and occasionally for ovarian cancers, hormonal treatment prevents estrogen from stimulating the growth of cancer cells by eliminating estrogen production or blocking its effects on target organs.