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41

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Ovarian Cancer, Version 1.2017

4

Cancer treatments

Clinical trials

†

†

Leuprolide acetate – This drug causes

the ovaries to make less estrogen and

progesterone. It is in a class of drugs called

LHRH (

l

uteinizing

h

ormone-

r

eleasing

h

ormone)

agonists.

†

†

Megestrol acetate – This drug stops the effect

of estrogen on cancer cell growth. It is in a

class of drugs called progestins.

Hormone therapy can cause a number of side

effects. A side effect is an unhealthy or unpleasant

response to treatment. The side effects may be mild

or severe. Symptoms of menopause are common.

Such symptoms include hot flashes, changes in

mood, vaginal dryness, trouble sleeping, and night

sweats. Other common side effects of hormone

therapy are vaginal discharge, weight gain, swelling

in the hands and feet, fatigue, and less interest in

sex. Blood clots are a rare but serious side effect of

tamoxifen. Aromatase inhibitors can weaken your

bones and may also cause joint and muscle pain.

All of the side effects of hormone therapy are

not listed here. Ask your treatment team for a full

list of common and rare side effects of the drug

you receive. If a side effect bothers you, tell your

treatment team. There may be ways to help you feel

better.

Clinical trials

A clinical trial is a type of research study that people

choose to take part in as part of their cancer care.

Clinical trials help doctors learn how to prevent,

diagnose, and treat a disease like cancer. Because

of clinical trials, doctors find safe and helpful ways to

improve cancer care. This guide provides information

about many of those tests and treatments used to

help people with cancer.

Complementary and

alternative medicine

CAM (

c

omplementary and

a

lternative

m

edicine) is a group of treatments

sometimes used by people with cancer.

Many CAMs are being studied to see if they

are truly helpful.

†

†

Complementary medicines are meant to

be used alongside standard therapies,

most often for relaxation, improving

your health, or to prevent or reduce side

effects.

†

†

Alternative medicine is treatment

or techniques that are used instead

of standard treatments such as

chemotherapy or radiation. Some are

sold as cures even though they haven’t

been proven to work in clinical trials.

Many cancer centers or local hospitals

have complementary therapy programs that

offer acupuncture, yoga, and other types of

therapy.

It’s important to tell your treatment team if

you are using any complementary medicine,

especially supplements, vitamins, or herbs.

Some of these things can interfere with your

cancer treatment. For more information

about CAM, ask your doctor and visit the

websites in Part 7.