Radiation Therapy for Ovarian Cancer

One type of treatment for ovarian cancer is radiation therapy which uses high energy x-rays to target and kill cancer cells.  While radiation was, in the past, used almost exclusively as a treatment for ovarian cancer, it is used much less often today as a primary treatment for the disease. Radiation therapy can be useful in treating ovarian cancer which has spread to other parts of the body. There are three main types of radiation therapy used in the treatment of ovarian cancer which are:

  • External beam radiation therapy incorporates a machine on the outside of the body, which focuses on the area where the cancerous cells were found. When radiation is used for ovarian cancer, external beam radiation therapy is the type used most often. A woman who undergoes external beam radiation therapy will do so for five days a week over a course of several weeks. The treatments are quick, lasting only a few minutes, and are similar to receiving a regular x-ray. When external beam radiation therapy is used, the radiation goes through the skin and other body tissues prior to reaching the ovarian tumor. Side effects of external beam radiation therapy include the following:
    • Skin which can look and feel like a bad sunburn, and may even blister and peel;
    • Chronic, sometimes overwhelming fatigue;
    • Nausea;
    • Vomiting
    • Vaginal irritation, and
    • Diarrhea.

Generally, all these side effects will improve when the treatment is discontinued, with the skin returning to normal within 6-12 months.

  • Brachytherapy is rarely used to treat ovarian cancer, although if it is, it uses radioactive materials, implanted near the ovarian cancer. Brachytherapy is more often used in the treatment of prostate cancer.
  • Radioactive phosphorous was used in the past to treat ovarian cancer, however is rarely used today. A solution of radioactive phosphorous is placed into the abdomen, then invades the cancer cells which are in the surface lining of the abdomen, effectively killing them. While radioactive phosphorous treatment has few immediate side effects, it can lead to scarring of the intestines, bowel blockages and other digestive issues.

 

What is Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer? Is Baby Powder with Talc Dangerous?

Perhaps you have been keeping up with the Johnson & Johnson talcum powder ovarian cancer trials, or have heard something about talcum powder ovarian cancer. There are currently more than 1,200 talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson from women who have used J & J baby powder with talc or Shower to Shower for feminine hygiene and have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. There have been three trials on the issue so far, with jurors deciding in favor of the plaintiffs in all three. The first J & J talcum powder lawsuit was decided in 2013 in favor of plaintiff Deane Berg, although she received no damages.

 

The second J & J talcum powder lawsuit was decided in February 2016, in favor of the family of Jacqueline Fox who died of talcum powder ovarian cancer a few months before the trial began. A Missouri jury awarded wrongful death damages of $72 million--$10 million in compensatory damages and $62 million in punitive damages. The third trial was decided in early May 2016, again, by a Missouri jury in favor of plaintiff Gloria Ristesund.  All three plaintiffs claimed they had used J & J baby powder with talc or Shower to Shower with talc for feminine hygiene, over the course of three decades or more, before being diagnosed with ovarian cancer..

 

In the 1970’s, researchers examined the tissues from 13 ovarian cancer tumors, finding talc fibers deeply embedded within 9 of them. Since that time multiple studies have linked talcum powder used in the genital region with a higher risk of ovarian cancer—in some cases as much as 30-40 percent increased risk. Ovarian cancer is considered one of the deadlier types of female cancers, in part because it is rarely discovered until the disease is fairly advanced. With this new focus on ovarian cancer many women have questions regarding ovarian cancer itself as well as whether talcum powder could be a contributor to ovarian cancer.

 

Getting the Help You Need for Your Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis

If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and you used talcum powder (talc is found both “Shower to Shower” and in baby powder with talc) for feminine hygiene purposes, you could benefit from speaking to an experienced talcum powder ovarian cancer attorney. Obtaining talcum powder ovarian cancer legal help during this difficult time can help answer your questions, and help to protect your rights. If it appears your ovarian cancer was the result of using talcum powder, your talcum powder ovarian cancer attorney may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries.

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