Mum just diagnosed with Stage 3 c

After various tests, raised CA125, ultrasound, MRI, CT, colposcopy, Biopsy under CT my Mum age 70 has been told she has Grade 3 OC. She has been advised that she will start chemo Carboplatin next week. 3 courses of treatment, then CT scan, surgery then another 3 courses of chemo. I have read a lot on the internet and I am concerned that most people have surgery 1st then chemo. The doctor said they wanted to shrink the tumors 1st. Has anyone else had this, 3 courses, surgery and then 3 more courses of chemo? Any information would be greatly appreciated. The Oncology doctor seemed a bit reluctant to answer to many questions, so I am worried she has not told us everything. Mum has seen a gynacologist but that was for the initial consultation and he has now passed her over to Oncology.

Sue, daughter.

9 Replies

  • Hi Sue

    I was diagnosed with stage 3a oc in jan2009, had the op first and then 6 cycles of chemo.

    it is common for people to have chemo first then the op as the chemo helps to shrink the tumours to help the op be more sucsessful, its difficult to ask questions at this stage- half the time you dont know what you want to know- I found it useful to write all the questions down and then take the list in with me- they could see me coming in the end, notebook in hand!

    hope your mum has got on well- keep in touch.


  • Hello Sue

    Sorry to hear your news. I was at the Ovacome members day and there was a talk about the latest methods of treating ovca. There seemed to be a trend to have chemo first, backed up by research. It's worth giving the nurses on the Ovacome helpline (Google Ovacome for details) a call to find out more details. They are very supportive and knowledgeable. They may help to clarify things for you. All the best

    Wendy xx

  • Hi Sue

    Sorry to hear about your mum's diagnosis. I am in my 40's and when I went to have surgery the surgeon decided that I should undergo chemo (4 cycles) and then surgery and 4 more cycles. Unfortunately it was during my the first laparotomy when this decision was made. The advantage of this was that when I had my 2nd surgery the chemo had shrunk the tumour and caused "dots of cancer on my bowel" to completely disappear.

    I found it was a relief to have a break from the chemo in the middle of treatment, and to have the reassurance of the surgery to confirm that it was actually working. I still have one cycle of chemo to go and am stage 3c too. I hope it goes well for your mum. The oncolgist does not seem to be doing anything unusual with this decision or age related. Hope this helps.

  • Ruby

    Thank you for your reply, can I ask what chemo treatment you are having?

    Mum is due to start this Thursday on Carboplatin. She was told she could also have Taxol but that the side effects were not very nice. So she opted for treatment without Taxol for the moment and see how things go after a few rounds. The consultant did not really advise what was best said it was up to my Mum, which I thought was strange. I know a bit about chemo as my husband has Chronic Lympathtic Leukeamia and has had chemo on and off for 10yrs, obviously different chemo drugs are used but they do all seem to have varying degrees of side effects. I was unsure if Mums age was playing a part as she is 70. Only came off HRT 18 months ago and had been on it for 20+ years. No one can say for sure if this played a part in her getting OC. But saying that I have decided to try and stay of HRT and have today purchased a Ladycare magnet to see if that helps with the flushes etc.

    I wish you all the very best with your next chemo session and fingers crossed you get good news.


  • I had an op for ovca 8 years ago, had implants for 2 years and then decided to come off HRT. I wasn't too bad at first, but have had awful hot flushes over the last couple of years. I went to a gynae menopause specialist at my local hospital and she gave me lots of info, including about the Ladycare magnet. I've been using one for about six weeks and think it's wonderful. My tropical moments have gone from hourly to about twice a day. I seem to sleep better too. No sweats! Hope it works as well for you as it has for me. Also it may be worth asking your GP if you can have CA125 tests yearly in case there's a family link. My sister and mother have been tested.

    Hope your Mum's chemo isn't too gruelling, Sue.

    Wendy x

  • Hi Sue

    I am on the Carboplatin/Taxol combination. An older lady (in about her mid 70's) that started treatment around the same time as me commenced on Carboplatin alone and then addedd Taxol later. I am not sure if this was her choice though or her oncologists. It seems unfair that your mum's consultant did not fully advise her as to the pros and cons. I have been very lucky regarding side effects and so I am happy to have as much chemo as I can tolerate. There does seem to be a huge range of experience regarding side effects perhaps your mum should see how she feels and how her CA125 responds.

    Thanks for the tip about the Ladycare magnet, I am going to give it a try too.

    Ruby x

  • My Mum aged 70 had her 1st chemo yesterday of Carboplatin which went really well, no side effects so far.

    Can anyone advise if and when the side effects kick in? She is on anti nausia tablets but so far has been alright. I know it is early days but wondered if she would feel worse as the days go on.

    She has been told she will have 3 rounds of chemo and then a scan then possibly surgery. Can anyone advise how soon approx surgery would be performed after her 3rd round and when the chemo would start again after surgery?

    Thank you


  • Hi Sue

    Hope things are still going well with no side effects for your mum. Re surgery my surgeon waited at least 3 weeks to allow blood cell counts to return to normal. I re-commenced chemo about 2 weeks after surgery so had about a 5 week break, which was great because my hair, brows and lashes started to grow back ana I have kept most of this hair. I don't think your mum will lose her hair though on just Carbo.


  • Ruby

    Mum is due her third treatment on the 2nd Dec the 3 weeks break takes her to the 23rd Dec, taking into account Christmas and New year I am sure they will not operate over the Christmas break. Also during this time she has to have a scan as well to determine how things are going. So not sure whether they may opt for another course of chemo which would take us into the New Year then.


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