If you’re affected by ovarian cancer, you may have many questions about how it is diagnosed, treatment options, side effects and how to stay well. You can find trustworthy information about all aspects of your experience below.
Ovarian cancer occurs when cells in one or both ovaries become abnormal, grow out of control and form a lump called a tumour.
Find out about the tests for ovarian cancer, how it is diagnosed and staged, and who will provide your care.
Treatment for ovarian cancer depends on the type of ovarian cancer you have, the stage of the cancer, whether you wish to have children, whether you have a faulty gene, your general health and fitness, and your doctors’ recommendations.
Find out about ways to manage some common side effects of ovarian cancer, such as infertility, menopause and bowel changes.
Learn about follow-up care, and how to look after your physical and mental health.
If ovarian cancer is advanced at diagnosis, it often does come back after treatment and a period of improvement, which is why regular follow-up appointments are important.
- What type of ovarian cancer do I have?
- Has the cancer spread? If so, where has it spread? How fast is it growing?
- Are the latest tests and treatments for this cancer available in this hospital?
- What sort of genetic testing can I have? Can I see a genetic counsellor?
- Will a multidisciplinary team be involved in my care?
- Are there clinical guidelines for this type of cancer?
- What treatment do you recommend? What is the aim of the treatment?
- Are there other treatment choices for me? If not, why not?
- If I don’t have the treatment, what should I expect?
- How long do I have to make a decision?
- I’m thinking of getting a second opinion. Can you recommend anyone?
- How long will treatment take? Will I have to stay in hospital?
- Are there any out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Medicare or my private health cover? Can the cost be reduced if I can’t afford it?
- How will we know if the treatment is working?
- Are there any clinical trials or research studies I could join?
- What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment?
- Will I have a lot of pain? What will be done about this?
- Can I work, drive and do my normal activities while having treatment?
- Will the treatment affect my sex life and fertility? What are my fertility options?
- Should I change my diet or physical activity during or after treatment?
- Are there any complementary therapies that might help me?
- How often will I need check-ups after treatment? Who should I see?
- If the cancer returns, how will I know? What treatments could I have?