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Living With Ovarian Cancer: Here’s What You Need To Know

Living With Ovarian Cancer: Here’s What You Need To Know

Being told that you have ovarian cancer is not an easy thing to deal with. Even if this type of cancer is treatable, persons living with ovarian cancer face many physical, mental, and even financial struggles.

Knowing what to expect when you get diagnosed can help give you some peace of mind.

Living With Ovarian Cancer: What You Need To Know

Here are some of the things you’ll need to be aware of if you do get diagnosed with ovarian cancer:

Coming To Grips With Your Diagnosis

First off, you’ll need to accept the fact that you have cancer1. This is one of the most difficult things to deal with, since cancer can be a deadly disease. Ovarian cancer is a survivable condition, but the reality is that not everyone who gets diagnosed and undergoes treatment can survive it.

You may start to feel depressed, anxious, frustrated, or even angry at your diagnosis. That is totally fine, and is a normal part of living with ovarian cancer. It’s okay to not feel okay about your cancer.

However, you’ll need to eventually figure out how to go on with your life, whether you need to undergo treatment or, in the worst case, palliative care if the condition is terminal.

Treatment Options

Treating ovarian cancer usually consists of a combination of surgery and chemotherapy2. Surgery can remove large tumors or masses of cancer cells, while chemotherapy can help deal with cancer cells that might be too difficult to remove, or haven’t been detected.

Surgery for ovarian cancer typically involves removing the ovaries, fallopian tubes, the uterus, and the omentum (fatty tissue found in the abdomen). The goal is to remove as much of the cancer as possible so that chemotherapy can “clean up” the rest of the cancer cells.

Dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy can be very difficult. Some of the possible side effects include:

  • hair loss
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • weakened immune system
  • diarrhea

However, doctors will usually prescribe medication to help manage these side effects.

Life After Treatment

Finding out that the treatment is successful is one of the best feelings for a person with cancer. Despite this, some people still struggle with feelings of anxiety since there is a possibility that the cancer could come back.

This is why it’s important to undergo regular checkups after your treatment so that your doctor can keep an eye on your recovery. These checkups can last for years, and might be a regular part of your life so you can ensure that you’re always healthy.

Your doctor might also recommend you undergo tests to help monitor your progress, and to see if the cancer has indeed been completely eradicated.

As far as your lifestyle goes, it’s important to stay healthy. Aside from the medications your doctor will prescribe, you’ll need to eat healthy and engage in daily exercise.

Dealing With a Terminal Diagnosis and an Unsuccessful Treatment

The reality of cancer is that sometimes it can be a terminal illness. There are also cases where the treatment will not be unsuccessful. These are probably the most difficult aspects of living with ovarian cancer.

Your doctor will explain the situation clearly to you, and will set your expectations regarding the disease. It’s possible to cure cancer at its later stages, but the chances are very slim. Coming to grips with the reality of your illness can be difficult, and it will be helpful to have a support group behind you.

It’s also important to set your affairs in order, and plan ahead for anything that could happen. If you’ll need to undergo palliative care at a facility or at home, it’s also a good idea to look at the available options.

Learn more about Ovarian Cancer here.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

1 Living Life with Ovarian Cancer | OCRA, https://ocrahope.org/patients/just-diagnosed/first-steps/x/, Accessed December 27, 2021

2 living with ovarian cancer – NHS, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ovarian-cancer/living-with/, Accessed December 27, 2021

3 Life After Ovarian Cancer Treatment | Ovarian Cancer Follow Up, https://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovarian-cancer/after-treatment/follow-up.html, Accessed December 27, 2021

4 Coping if your cancer can’t be cured | Ovarian cancer | Cancer Research UK, https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/ovarian-cancer/living-with/coping-if-your-cancer-cant-be-cured, Accessed December 27, 2021

5 End-of-Life Care Remains Aggressive for People With Ovarian Cancer, https://labblog.uofmhealth.org/industry-dx/end-of-life-care-remains-aggressive-for-people-ovarian-cancer, Accessed December 27, 2021

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Dec 28, 2021
Fact Checked by Vincent Sales