Chemotherapy for Gynecologic Cancers

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Ovarian cancer is often found when it already has spread to the abdomen, so some women who have ovarian cancer need systemic chemotherapy. Chemotherapy prolongs survival and allows some women to maintain a good quality of life.

Standard chemotherapy treatment at Mayo Clinic in Florida includes paclitaxel and carboplatin. These drugs are given as outpatient care, usually once every three weeks, for four to five hours. Doctors provide drugs to reduce side effects such as nausea, vomiting and reduction in blood-forming cells. If the cancer recurs, different types of chemotherapy are available and are often successful in causing remissions.

Chemotherapy is also frequently used to treat uterine (endometrial) and cervical cancers. Adding chemotherapy to radiation therapy helps some women who have cervical cancer.