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can ovarian cancer actually be cured?

gemma27's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2011

My mum got diagnosed feb this year, and was set to have 6 sessions of chemo, surgery then another 6 sessions of chemo.

After her first 3 chemo sessions she was told she could have her surgery which was done this tuesday.surgeon said he thinks he got all of the cancer out, and that he was vey pleased with how it went.She will have another 3 sessions of chemo starting in another few weeks time.She is doing absolutely brilliant.

Could she be cured or does it always come back!

kikz's picture
Posts: 1347
Joined: Jun 2010

that 80% of the time it comes back. My surgeon was very pleased at removing 95% of the cancer (is it just me or is that the % most patients are told?) and had chemo to eradicate any lingering cells. He still could not tell me it won't come back.


LaundryQueen's picture
Posts: 682
Joined: Mar 2011

Karen: I think surgeons might say a lesser percentage but I have never heard anyone say their surgeon told them a higher percentage. One thing that is interesting about ovarian cancer is that the survival rate has a lot to do with "optimal debulking"--the skill of the surgeon in removing as much of the cancer as possible on the first surgery. If that's the case, I'm screwed because 95% of the cancer grew back within weeks after surgery for me!

So if you find me shoving garlic up my nose or chanting under the full moon, you'll have to realize that I'm working on maximizing the placebo effect. Hahahahaha!

Gemma: to answer your question--yes, it can be "cured" (doctors will say "no evidence of disease" or "inactive cancer") but only about 20% of the time will women live cancer free until they die of something else & no, it doesn't always come back--it often comes back--and if it does, there's a 50% chance of going into a second remission. Ovarian cancer is now being treated as a chronic health condition where women live for many years with it going on and off chemo while they wait for a better treatment to be discovered.

Here's what you don't want to hear but it's the reality of the disease: More women are dying from ovarian cancer or the complications of chemo than not.


Posts: 1223
Joined: Jun 2008

I think that when we think of a "cure", we think in terms of the cancer NOT coming back at all. I am a 4 year survivor and I did recur, although I was NED (no evidence of disease) for a good 8 months. I do, however know a few people who never recurred and that was 8, 10 and 12 years ago. And I know there are many more out there, but once they are NED, they leave the cancer support circles and we don't hear from them. Can we call them cured? I guess the question is, "How many years does one go NED to be called "cured"??? In the medical circles, 5 years is a marker, and if you do go 5 years, you no longer need to go for check ups. (My doctor continues to have his patients come in, even after they are NED for 5 years, at least once a year.)

Wishing you and your mom the best!!!


rose_marie's picture
Posts: 75
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi Kathleen,
My doctor was having me do the ca125 every 6months. I had been cancer just shy of 5yrs. My ca125 test jumped from 8 in Dec 2010 to 145 in Jan 2011. Had a ct scan and more blood work then doctor started me on Carbo March 25th, 2011. I will have a total of 8 treatments.
How I used to pray that this horrible disease was gone from my body forever. Like I told my minister, didn't do much good.

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

My doctor does CA125 tests every month for the first year you are NED, then every 3 months(I talked him into every 60 days) until you reach 2 years. After that, every 6 months, and after 5 years, once a year. He does periodic CT scans, as well.

And he does have at least one patient who has gone over 10 years with no recurrence, ever. She was staged at IIIc, too. She is a member of my local support group and a super nice lady. She won't call herself "cured", however. She is still very anxious about the possibility of it coming back.

Another member of our local group died a few months ago, after 12 years of off and on chemo. She died from complications of the treatment. She had so much chemo, it finally took its toll on her body.

Even when it's caught early, it can come back.


Tethys41's picture
Posts: 1229
Joined: Sep 2010

The numbers are just that...statistics. Your mum is an individual, not a statistic. And she's doing brilliantly. I suggest you and she focus on her success and the fact that some patients are, in fact, cured. Worrying about the possibility of a recurrance will accomplish nothing but stressing you out. I say, keep up with the monitoring, but believe that she is cured. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

gemma27's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2011

thankyou every-one for your comments!!

My mum and i are absolutely sooo chuft over the results so far, and i was thinking and still believe she will beat this nasty disease,i think its just when you go and search ovarian cancer on the net you dont get very good feed back.alot of the info seems to be very negative comapred to other cancers.

my mum and everyone on here are beating it.Like everyone-else i just want her to be back to normal- cancer free!

Posts: 6
Joined: May 2012

Well, my doc was big on using the word "Cured!"  Never trusted that.  And, yes, he could very well be right...that I was "cured" of that particular cancer it has been five years now.  But I worry everyday that it or another cancer will turn up.  The chemo they gave me causes other cancers.  Is what it is, but I won't let it get me down. Smile  I hope your mother comes thru cancer free but "back to normal" it won't be.  Cancer is life changing.  How many of us are the people we were before we got cancer?  I know I'm not.  It's not a bad thing, I'm just different somehow, I prefer more peace in my life now, and being a caring human being is more important to me then it was before.  Many blessings to your mom and family. :)

Posts: 22
Joined: Mar 2011

Both my surgeon and my onc told me that I have a 50% chance of being "cured". You cannot know if you are cured until you die and the reason is not cancer. Due to my my optimal surgery, no visible tumors left, my age 46, my overall health, and IP/IV chemo they think I have a good chance of not recurring. Also since CA 125 was normal 6 after my 3 rd treatment my onc just told me I am not considered a high risk of recurring. I hope is not coming back!

lulu1010's picture
Posts: 367
Joined: Feb 2011

As far as I am concerned I believe it can be. I know a lady who was diagnosed very early and she is living after 20 years with no other cancer experienced. A man in our church told my husbabd that his wife was diagnosed and given a bad prognosis and is still living after 20 years. I was also told of a lady that was diagnosed with advanced disease and had much treatment and lots of surgeries but is still living after 20 years. Granted they are in the minority but they give us hope!
When I was diagnosed with PPC (peritoneal cancer which is like ovarian) I asked the chemo nurse (with 41 years experience) if they had any other PPC patients who lived 20 years and she said "yes and longer"
We must all chose to be in the minority and prove the statistics wrong!

Here's to 20 more years for all of us!

clbsews's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: May 2011


I love your attitude! I'm with you! 20 more years! And, I'm trusting as a single lady that one day I will have my own family!


tjpt16's picture
Posts: 27
Joined: May 2011

I'm glad you asked your question. The responses you received gave me a boost. I love to hear survivor stories.


gemma27's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2011

i love survivor stories too....

actually my second cousin had ovarian cancer 11 years ago ,when she was 32 and has had no reacurrance!The only difference between her and my mum is that her cancer was found earlier and was contained within the ovary,she did not need chemotherapy.
Can ovarian cancer run in families?..the macmillian nurse told my mum this type does not , but i read differently.

i think everyone on here is doing brilliant,you've just got to keep positive and keep on smiling :0)

Tethys41's picture
Posts: 1229
Joined: Sep 2010

Yes, ovarian cancer can run in families. There are at leaset two known genetic mutations that predispose their owners to ovarian, as well as other types of cancer. Your mum, and even you, can be tested for the BRCA-1/BRCA-2 mutation. I had the test done after my diagnosis, and insurance covered the cost.

jbeans888's picture
Posts: 313
Joined: Mar 2011

I am also glad you posted the
at question I don't have an answer, but I need some up lifting stories, even if they aren't the majority. It is for positive thinking.

Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2014

Hi Gemma ...How is your mom now?? ...My mom has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer ..I dont know which stage it is but shes gonna take 3 chemo sessions and then a surgery !! ....

Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2014

hello. I am Rachel, living 21years with my happy family, with 2 siblings, my mom and dad in the Philippines and unfortunately, that happy thingy became not that normal to us nowadays because of ovarian cancer diagnose, stage 4 in my mom and diagnose 17cm tumor in her ovary :( she's my mom! the most important person in a person's life, right? i am the eldest in the family and my dad is at Qatar, working as an OFW( overseas filipino workers,) filipino so-called. we don't know what to do to her situation. I don't know if I will take her life at risk because we all know that chemo will going to weaken her life and we are all afraid if it will going to lengthen her life span or not, some suggests that it would be better if we go on vegetarian diet. PLEASE HELP US! ANY SUGGESTIONS TO HER SITUATION. WILL I GOING TO BRING HER TO HOSPITAL FOR CHEMO OR NOT? THANK YOU SO MUCH. :(

Alexandra's picture
Posts: 1311
Joined: Jul 2012

I am sorry about your mom's diagnosis and that in your young age you are faced with caring for a seriously ill parent.

Ultimately it is your mom's decision, not yours. For the majority of women first line chemo will result in remission that could last for years. Chemo is difficult and has serious side effects, but sure beats the alternative. Vegetarian diet is not a treatment option; it will not cure stage 4 ovarian cancer, but probably will not hurt your mom and could be a positive lifestyle change. Without knowing the details of your mom's situation I can only suggest to follow the doctor's advice, whether he recommends chemo only or chemo + surgery.

My best wishes to your family,


Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2014

My friend has a relapsed ovarian cancer  (spread to lungs and stomac) and was able to stop the cancer with dandelion root and leaves (ca 124 was stopped increasing and the water in the lungs disappeared) before she started a new series of chemo (6 times). In the nordic countries we must wait a few weeks before a chemo can be started so the ca 124 was measured 2 times before the therapy started. Now the lung methastases are gone and she only has a few enlarged lymph nodes in the stomac area. The doctors are amased about her recovery because her cancer is of an aggressive type. She will now do the following:

1. continue eating dandelion

2. take food soda to keep her body alcalic, the cancer cannot use the nutrition from surrounding healthy tissue as long as it is alcalic, the cancer mealts surrounding tissue with acidic enzymes and the alcality neutralices the acides.

3. eat lysine and alcalic vitamine c (calcium ascorbat). The use of lysine (3-8 grams/day) blocks arginine. Arginine cannot be produced by the cancer cells but it is necessary for the dividing of the cells (multiplying of the DNA). Without arginine the cancer cannot divide and spread.

Has anybody tried this or any other successfull methode to survive?



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