Ovarian Cancer Home > Ovarian Cancer Pain

For some women, pain may be a part of their experience with ovarian cancer. For example, unpleasant sensations may be caused by the tumor pressing on a nerve or organ, or may be associated with treatment for the disease. Options used to manage the pain include medications, alternative treatments (like acupuncture), and, in rare cases, a nerve block. Talk to your doctor about your level of pain so that your treatment can be modified, if necessary.

An Introduction to Ovarian Cancer Pain

Unfortunately, some women will experience pain with ovarian cancer, whether due to the disease itself or to associated treatment methods. Whether you have pain (and the amount of pain you have) often depends on:
  • The type of ovarian cancer
  • The stage (extent) of the disease
  • Your pain threshold (tolerance for pain).
For women with ovarian cancer, pain can be caused by a number of things, including:
  • A tumor that is pressing against nerves, bones, or other organs near the ovaries
  • Ovarian cancer treatment
  • Things not related to the cancer, such as headaches or muscle pain.

Options for Reducing the Pain of Ovarian Cancer

The patient's doctor or a specialist in pain control can help relieve or reduce ovarian cancer pain in several ways, which include:
  • Pain medicine
  • Alternative treatments
  • Radiation
  • A nerve block.
For most women, medicine and alternative treatments are effective in reducing pain.
Pain Medicine
Check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist for advice before you take any medicine for pain. Medicines are safe when they are used properly. You can buy effective pain relievers without a prescription. These medicines are referred to as nonprescription or over-the-counter pain relievers.
For other medications, a prescription from your doctor is necessary. Although these medicines may make people drowsy and constipated, resting and taking laxatives can help. Also, many women worry that they will become addicted to pain medicine; however, this rarely occurs.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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