Surgery or radiation therapy for ovarian cancer may mean you are unable to conceive a child. This is known as infertility.
Before treatment starts, ask your doctor or a fertility specialist about what options are available to you. If you have stage 1 ovarian cancer and have not yet reached menopause, it may be possible to leave the uterus and one ovary in place (unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy).
Being told that your reproductive organs will be removed or will no longer work and that you won’t be able to have children can be devastating. Even if your family is complete or you did not want children, you may still feel a sense of loss and grief.
Speaking to a counsellor or gynaecological oncology nurse about your feelings can be helpful.
For more on this, see Fertility and cancer.
Podcast: Coping with a Cancer Diagnosis
Dr Nisha Jagasia, Gynaecological Oncologist, Mater Hospital Brisbane, QLD; Sue Hayes, Consumer; Bronwyn Jennings, Gynaecology Oncology Clinical Nurse Consultant, Mater Health, QLD; Dr Andrew Lee, Radiation Oncologist, Canberra Region Cancer Centre and Canberra Hospital, ACT; A/Prof Tarek Meniawy, Medical Oncologist, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, WA; Caitriona Nienaber, Cancer Council WA; Jane Power, Consumer; A/Prof Sam Saidi, Senior Staff Specialist, Gynaecological Oncology, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW.
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