When you begin treatment for ovarian cancer, have a frank discussion with your healthcare provider about possible side effects you might experience and how to manage them. For example, nausea, constipation, and pain are all possible reactions to treatment, as are low blood cell counts. Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications to help with these things, or may even suggest complementary therapies, such as relaxation techniques.
Knowing What to Expect
According to estimates by the American Cancer Society, about 22,000 women will be newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the United States in 2013. If you're one of those women, you probably feel a mixture of emotions. This is natural. Being diagnosed with ovarian cancer -- or any cancer really -- is difficult. You might feel like you have no control over your health.
While it's true you can't control the fact that you have ovarian cancer, you're not defined by your diagnosis. There are things that you can do to take back control and help yourself deal with this disease and all that comes with it.
It's natural to want to take an active role in making decisions about your treatment. To do this, you'll want to learn as much as you can about your condition. You'll want to know what treatments are available and what you can expect from them. Learning about your diagnosis and knowing what to expect from treatment will help you feel prepared, and being prepared for what's next can make dealing with ovarian cancer a little easier.
Treatment Is Available
There are several different ways to treat ovarian cancer. In general, treatment is most effective when the cancer is caught early.
Most women with ovarian cancer will undergo surgery and receive chemotherapy. Surgery is used to remove as much of the cancer as possible. In some cases, surgery is the only treatment needed. However, this is only true for women diagnosed in the early stages of the disease. Most often, a woman will also need chemotherapy. Chemotherapy helps slow down or stop the growth of any cancer cells that remain after surgery.
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