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During Treatment

Ovarian Medical Suppression

  • Investigational (research) technique which requires Institutional Review Board approval
  • Must be started before chemotherapy begins
  • Requires 6 weeks for ovarian suppression and has to be administered throughout chemotherapy
  • Severe menopausal side effects (hot flashes and vaginal dryness)
  • Few randomized trials with mixed results
  • No benefit in women undergoing high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplantation
  • Costs: Each monthly injection costs about $1,000

Ovarian Radiation Shielding

  • Standard technique which reduces the radiation exposure to the ovaries when patients are being treated with radiation away from the pelvis
  • Involves shielding of the pelvis with a lead apron
  • Does not protect against toxic effects of chemotherapy to the ovaries
  • Costs are included with the radiation therapy