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Symptom Management of Ovarian Cancer with Homeopathic Medicines

Dr. (Mrs.) B.S.Suvarna

Alleviation of symptoms is the foremost goal of treatment in treatment of any type of cancer especially in advanced stages. Homoeopathy has a great role to play in symptom management of most cancers

What symptoms occur when ovarian cancer progresses? What happens if I have severe abdominal pain? What can I do for fatigue?

What symptoms occur when ovarian cancer progresses?
Peritoneal cavity the abdominal space: Ovarian cancer usually grows in the belly, or peritoneal cavity. As tumor implants lying on the peritoneum and around the bowels continue to grow, more malignant fluid (ascites) is produced. The combination of cancer growth and ascites will cause the symptom of bloating: eventually, the volume of tumor inside the abdomen will press on the small and large intestine, causing difficulty with eating. Eventually, these effects may require a hospital admission to administer fluids by vein and bring about temporary relief of the symptoms. Occasionally the disease may spread through the blood vessels or lymph nodes and show up in the lungs or liver. If it lands in the lung cavity, the cancer can cause the fluid to develop around the lung (pleural effusion) which can cause chest pain and difficulty in breathing, rarely, patients can present with cancer in their brain, and that can produce changes in personality, decreased ability to think clearly (cognitive changes), or seizures.

What happens if I have severe abdominal pain?
If you develop severe abdominal pain, it is very important that you immediately consult your physician or seek care in an emergency room to find a reason for your pain and specifically to rule out an intestinal obstruction. The evaluation will require a physical examination and imaging studies, usually abdominal x-rays and a CT (computed tomography) scan of your abdomen and pelvis. Intestinal obstruction, a very common complication of advanced or recurrent ovarian cancer, may require surgery. If your physician believes that you might have obstruction, you will have to go to hospital. Your doctor may recommend surgery to correct the obstruction. If your pain is severe, you may require morphine or another type of narcotic, which may be offered to you as an infusion pump that allows you to control directly the amount of pain medication you get (patient –controlled analgesia). It is important to realize that abdominal pain does not automatically mean that you have an obstruction. There are other possible causes for pain, and most of them can be managed without having to admit you to the hospital. Some common causes are constipation, kidney stones, or a urinary tract infection. However, an obstruction may become an emergency, and then it requires immediate evaluation to rule it out.

What can I do for constipation?
Constipation is a very common complaint for women with ovarian cancer. It is typically present at diagnosis and can persist through out treatments and recurrence. Because ovarian cancer tends to grow along the surface of your bowels, the normal function of the bowel is affected which results in constipation. You may require the use of laxatives and stool softeners, such as senna and colace. if constipation is related to pain medications or progression of your cancer, these may not work enough. There are other medications your doctor may recommend, including lactose, magnesium citrate, and enemas to help with bowel movements.

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