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inoperable? how does this change things?

Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2004

It seems like everyone here had somewhat sucessful surgery. When my mother went in they just closed her back up and told us that they couldn't safely do any surgery. Now we're onto chemo and having a rough go of it. However, we are still a little confused by the lack of surgery and the fact that we feel like she's the only one that had this happen. Recently I read a book that stated that for stages III and IV, 100% of patients in a study of about 300 patients were given surgery? Has anyone else had a similar experience? How does this affect the prognosis? We weren't very happy with the hospital she was at (a big teaching hospital) and switched back to our local oncologist who she trusts and respects. After surgery they told us they thought it was stage IV, now mom's doctor says IIIB. We'll talk to the doctor again next week for a general discussion, but I wanted to find out if anyone here had a similar experience... Thanks!

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pshnyc's picture
Posts: 45
Joined: Feb 2003


I know women who have had chemo first and then surgery. Sometimes when there is widespread disease or multiple organ mets doctors want to try to shrink/eliminate as much of the disease as possible first with chemo before operating. There is a woman in my support group who had chemo first and then had an optimal debulking. I also know women who have Stage IV disease who are alive & well after 6, 8, even 10 years. Their disease is now being managed as a chronic illness.

Stage IV disease is serious and some women will not do well, but some will. I think the important thing is that your Mom is treated by someone with LOTS of experience in treating OVCA and that she trusts him/her. I would definitely recommend that you seek out a gynecologic oncologist for a consult.

I'm curious - was her original surgery (where they closed her up) down by a gyne/onc? Did they say where the disease had spread?

Best of luck to you & your Mom. Don't give up hope.

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