Double-dose chemo treatment for Ovarian Cancer - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports


Double-dose chemo treatment for Ovarian Cancer

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Janice McAnally had just had what she thought was routine surgery, when she received news that would turn her world upside down.

Janice McAnally says "Got a call in about three days that I had cancer in both ovaries."

Janice was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer.

Janice McAnally says "I was devastated, of course my husband was right there with me and I knew I had a long journey ahead of treatment to come."

Janice met with local Gynecologic Oncologist, Dr. Stephen DePasquale.  

Dr. Stephen DePasquale says "It's a devastating disease and unfortunately most of the time, it's terminal."

With time of the essence, Dr. Depasquale spelled out her options. One of them included the results of a recent study.

Janice McAnally says "I knew I probably had one chance to fight this and in order to do that I had to do everything I could everything that was offered."
What was offered was a double dose approach to chemotherapy. Not only do patients get a dose through an IV, but a follow up dose directly in the abdomen.

Dr. Stephen Depasquale says "I actually participated in some of those trials and we put women on those trials and we've been offering chemo therapy into the abdomen since that time."

Despite the fact that the National Cancer Institute declared this one of the standards of care for Ovarian Cancer. The study found out that at 6 of the largest academic medical centers, only 41 percent  of women got it.

Dr. DePasquale explains why.

Dr. Stephen DePasquale says "The reason it is not being offered as much as it should be is because it is difficult for physicians, difficult for patients, time consuming and labor intensive"  

But the study shows it is worth it. The dual approach pushed the three year survival rate to 81 percent in advanced cases, a 10 point jump. And half of all the patients who get it are still alive 10 years after their diagnosis.

Janice is close to reaching that milestone.  Relying on her faith and the love of her life for 55 years, she has been cancer free for 8 years.

Janice McAnally says "Most women will absolutely  accept what they have to go through to live a longer life and be there for their family."

Dr. DePasquale is hopeful that screenings and better treatments will come along, but until then, he says the double dose of chemo is the best option.



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