Maintenance pill helps women with recurring ovarian cancer
SARASOTA - Gynecologic Oncologist Dr. Heidi Godoy says about 220,000 women live with ovarian cancer - the fifth leading cause of death for American women.
“Nobody is exempt from this," Dr. Godoy said.
She says the number of women living with it is growing, and though it's not curable, it is treatable.
“That’s something to get excited about," Dr. Godoy said.
More specifically about a treatment called Zejula, made for advanced ovarian cancer in a recurrent setting - otherwise known as maintenance therapy.
“..after your first recurrence where you go on a tablet to decrease your risk of recurrence," Dr. Godoy explains.
Anna, a Zejula patient ambassador, says her first symptoms were typical.
“I was tired; I had some bloating," Anna said.
She was diagnosed with stage 3C ovarian cancer.
"For both my initial diagnosis and recurrence I was treated with surgery followed by platinum based chemotherapy," Anna said.
After her recurrence she asked her doctor about maintenance therapy, and she now is on Zejula, a once daily pill.
“It has minimum reaction with other drugs and is fairly well tolerated," Dr. Godoy said.
Dr. Godoy says Anna’s case is typical, and she wants women to explore all of their options.
“'Watch and wait' has been the long standing dogma of watching and waiting for this cancer to return after receiving their chemotherapy," Dr. Godoy said.
She says major side effects include hypertension and nausea.