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Interactive Webinar: What Women Need to Know about Ovarian Cancer

Tue. May 12, 2015 at 12:00 pm CST

Mayo Clinic gynecologic cancer specialists Jamie N. Bakkum-Gamez, M.D. and John Weroha, M.D., Ph.D. discuss the signs and symptoms women should be aware of for detection of ovarian cancer, understanding treatment options, and the importance of new clinical trials. Mayo Clinic medical geneticist Myra J. Wick, M.D., Ph.D. discusses the importance of family history and genetic counseling in preventing ovarian cancer. A live question and answer session followed the presentation. You can still ask questions using the chat box to the right. Speakers include: - Jamie N. Bakkum-Gamez, M.D. - John Weroha, M.D., Ph.D. - Myra J. Wick, M.D., Ph.D. Would you like to: Request An Appointment Learn More About Ovarian Cancer


Tags: ovarian-cancer

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I have cuda equina syndrome for 6 years, due to back surgery. I straight cath 5 x's a day.I have a colostomy. I am in terrible pain, taking high doses of gabapentin. Is there a doctor that can help me.

Posted Sat, Jun 27 at 8:27am CST

jowalsh25

Jo Walsh wrote:

I have been experiencing severe pelvic/abdominal pain. My u/s and ct showed I have a small mass on my left ovary and one on my uterus (a small cyst in my liver) and my alpha feta protein test was abnormal, [...] View full text  

Posted Tue, May 19 at 11:52am CST

aiwhite

Alex White replied:

In a postmenopausal woman, ovarian masses are usually a growth of some sort—could be benign, could be cancer, could be something in between called a borderline tumor. Imaging and tumor markers may not be enough to rule out a cancer as cancers and benign tumors can look the same on imaging. And there is a small proportion of ovarian cancers that have a normal CA125 level. Further evaluation in the setting of an ovarian mass and pain is warranted. If you would like to be evaluated at Mayo Clinic, you may make an appointment by calling: 507-284-4137.

Posted Thu, May 21 at 1:55pm CST

mfell

mfell wrote:

I have stage 3 recurrent clear cell ovarian cancer. You mentioned carboplatin and taxol are the standard chemo treatments for ovarian cancer. Would you say they would be the same for clear cell? Thank you.

Posted Fri, May 15 at 1:48pm CST

aiwhite

Alex White replied:

Yes, we currently do not distinguish between the different subtypes of ovarian cancer and use the same general platinum-taxane doublet therapy (for instance cisplatin or carboplatin plus paclitaxel or Taxotere) for all subtypes.

Posted Tue, May 19 at 2:24pm CST

buglegirl

buglegirl wrote:

Would have been nice to know this is really a closed trial for patients of Mayo only. Hope they have great success!

Posted Thu, May 14 at 11:39pm CST

Anonymous wrote:

I have stage 4 recurring ovarian cancer. I have been treated with Chemo four 4 1/2 years after surgery. Was given 2/3 months and started treatment of HEXALEN. Is there any other treatment that you would suggest.

Posted Thu, May 14 at 9:26am CST

aiwhite

Alex White replied:

There are many potential therapies for recurrent ovarian cancer and the pros/cons should be discussed with your local oncologist. It is difficult to give advice about what treatments to do now or next without having more information about your medical history, tolerability of prior chemo, life goals, physical condition, etc. The best way to answer this question is through a face-to-face consult or electronic consult if your physician is part of the Mayo Clinic Network.

Posted Tue, May 19 at 2:24pm CST

I Would like to know about CBD oil and any patients who used this while doing chemo? I have stage IIA ovarian cancer. going to have 3 roads chemo, second surgery and 3 more roads of chemo and I have [...] View full text  

Posted Tue, May 12 at 7:12pm CST

aiwhite

Alex White replied:

We are currently working on responses to the questions, and replies will be posted below the questions.

Posted Wed, May 13 at 1:43pm CST

sepdvm

Sue P. wrote:

Recent Foundation One testing of a metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the lung lobe showed BRCA1 and BRCA2 as VUS (varients of unknown significance), present but unknown as to their effects on the SCC. Is this evidence that I carry [...] View full text  

Posted Tue, May 12 at 5:18pm CST

aiwhite

Alex White replied:

Many types of tumors develop mutations in genes over time. Most often these mutations or alterations in tumors are not inherited. Encourage you to discuss results with your oncologist.

Posted Tue, May 19 at 8:36am CST

lynnkw

lynnkw wrote:

Mother passed from ovarian cancer at 51 y.o. She was BRCA1 positive. Both my sister and I are negative for this gene mutation. Is there any reason for us to do any type of regular screening/preventative measures? are there any [...] View full text  

Posted Tue, May 12 at 3:05pm CST

aiwhite

Alex White replied:

You should not have to do any type of screening or preventative measures if you do not have the mutation identified for your mother.

Posted Tue, May 19 at 8:36am CST

Anonymous wrote:

Thank you to all the Doctors for a very interesting and informative panel discussion.

Posted Tue, May 12 at 2:24pm CST

peggycampbell327

Peggy wrote:

I am a stage 2c survivor; negative on both braca1 + 2 test. Am I correctly understanding that my sister remains at a 1.4% risk range? Or is her risk higher?

Posted Tue, May 12 at 2:24pm CST

aiwhite

Alex White replied:

There are other genes, aside from BRCA1 and BRCA2, that may have been associated with your ovarian cancer. Would recommend revisiting with a genetic counselor to discuss whether additional genetic testing is warranted. If you have one of the less common genes that has been implicated in ovarian cancer, your sister’s risk could be elevated above the general population risk.

Posted Tue, May 19 at 8:35am CST

beachtennis

Beachtennis wrote:

If you are negative BRCA1/2, should we ask to have Lynch testing?

Posted Tue, May 12 at 1:07pm CST

aiwhite

Alex White replied:

Recommend discussing personal and family history with genetics professional to assess risk for Lynch syndrome

Posted Tue, May 19 at 8:35am CST

gill

Gill wrote:

I live in UK and have Ovarian Cancer Stage3. Our survival rates are some of the poorest in Europe. Firstly what chemotherapy or drugs would you use on a second recurrence. Avastin is only used for first recurrence here. Are [...] View full text  

Posted Tue, May 12 at 1:07pm CST

aiwhite

Alex White replied:

For this question, I would refer you to the http://www.NCCN.org guidelines for a comprehensive list of treatment options. Mayo Clinic is a member of NCCN.

Posted Tue, May 19 at 8:35am CST

momatat

Becky wrote:

breast cancer survivor- BRCA1/2 negative. having pain in abdomin, urgency, back pain would CA 125 clarify

Posted Tue, May 12 at 12:58pm CST

aiwhite

Alex White replied:

Recommend evaluation by your care provider.

Posted Tue, May 19 at 8:35am CST

What is the difference between the Avatar trial vs the ChemoFx testing? I am familiar with Chemofx. Aren't they already testing live cells up against approved recurrent therapies? What your thoughts?

Posted Tue, May 12 at 12:57pm CST

aiwhite

Alex White replied:

Studies have shown that cancer cells respond differently to chemotherapy when they are grown in 2D (in a petri dish as is what happens with ChemoFx) v. 3D (as a structured tumor as is what happens in an Avatar). Some chemotherapies that are not active against cells grown in a dish are active against cells grown as a tumor, and vice versa. It is thought that 3D tumors grown respond more like the tumors in the human body. The Avatar study will help better understand this. Although ChemoFx is commercially available, the American Society of Clinical Oncology has reviewed the data and experts have come to the conclusion that these tests should not be used in general clinical practice and further investigation is needed in a clinical trial setting. I have not used this test in my practice.

Posted Tue, May 19 at 8:34am CST

lsudoublep

Double P wrote:

My mother was just diagnosed with a second recurrence, however is relatively asymptomatic (small nodule growth in mesenteric fat area)....we have been told that a hormonal therapy option might be a way to keep it stable for a bit (to [...] View full text  

Posted Tue, May 12 at 12:56pm CST

karenh

Kare wrote:

Stage 3C recurrent at 44 yrs old. Was in remission for a little over a year. Genetic testing was all negative. Are there any new studies showing cure in these types of scenarios? I'm being told at this point there [...] View full text  

Posted Tue, May 12 at 12:55pm CST

aiwhite

Alex White replied:

Thank you for sharing your experience with ovarian cancer. This question comes up daily. Durable remissions have been observed in women with recurrent ovarian cancer. This doesn’t mean the cancer is gone forever (cured) but it means we can’t see the cancer with any of our tests, which is the next best thing. If long-term remission is not achieved, the cancer can still be treated. Clinical trials increase the treatment options.

Posted Tue, May 19 at 8:33am CST

elainefowler

Elaine wrote:

Would you recommend an annual ultrasound and a CA125 test? My doctor used to prescribe this but now says it's not necessary?

Posted Tue, May 12 at 12:54pm CST

aiwhite

Alex White replied:

The United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) does not recommend screening (ultrasound and CA125) for average risk women. As such, these tests are not recommended for the general population of women (ovarian cancer risk 1.4% in lifetime). This is because in average risk women, these tests have not yet been shown to detect ovarian cancer at early stages. However, in those women at high risk of ovarian cancer development (BRCA, family history of ovarian cancer), the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommends every 6 month ultrasound and CA125 until a woman is ready for risk reducing surgery to remove her ovaries and tubes.

Posted Tue, May 19 at 8:33am CST

bluhmcd

cdb1960 wrote:

I have stage 4 and have my first recurrence. I'm doing low dose carbo/taxol treatments and am unable to be some treatments because my wbc count and anc are too low. What can I do to boost my immune system?

Posted Tue, May 12 at 12:54pm CST

aiwhite

Alex White replied:

This is a very common question and one with no good answers. The best way to boost the immune system is with a medication called Neupogen (assuming the low dose chemo is weekly) or Neulasta (if the chemo is every 3 weeks) but this isn’t something you can do on your own and would require a prescription. I think the question you raise is referring to vitamins, certain foods, or complimentary medicine ways to boost the immune system. I’m not aware of anything non-prescription therapy that can overcome the immunosupressive activity of chemotherapy.

Posted Tue, May 19 at 8:32am CST

djsetzer

djsetzer wrote:

My paternal grandmother and several paternal great aunts died of breast cancer (no genetic testing). My mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 70. She is still living but has not had genetic testing. Should I have the testing since [...] View full text  

Posted Tue, May 12 at 12:53pm CST

aiwhite

Alex White replied:

There is risk from both sides of the family. Are any of the paternal aunts available for testing? Testing of an affected paternal aunt would be most informative for assessing paternal side of the family. Also recommend that your mother have BRCA1/2 testing, since she has a personal history of ovarian cancer.

Posted Tue, May 19 at 8:32am CST

sharonwaters221

Sharon wrote:

Is there a diet (certain foods) I should follow to help reduce risk of ovarian cancer?

Posted Tue, May 12 at 12:53pm CST

aiwhite

Alex White replied:

Dietary risk factors have not been identified for ovarian cancer.

Posted Tue, May 19 at 8:31am CST