Talking to Your Doctor About Ovarian Cancer
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
- How soon will I know the results from the pathology report?
Can you give me detailed information about:
- Ovarian cancer
- The stage of my cancer
- The grade of my cancer
- Given my family and medical history, how great is my risk?
- Should I have an ultrasound examination to make sure I don't have an early cancer in an ovary
- Do you recommend the current standard treatment, or would you advise me to look into enrolling in a clinical trial of new treatments?
What are the treatment options, and for each possibility, what can you tell me about:
- The risks
- Possible benefits
- Side effects
- How long should I expect to be in an active phase of treatment?
What limitations should I expect in my usual routine and for how long?
- How much time should I plan on taking off from work?
- Should I look into getting help around the house?
- Will the surgery affect my sex life?
- What are my chances of being completely cured of my cancer?
- Will cancer and/or the treatment affect my fertility?
- How long do I have to wait to know how effective my treatment was?
Kasper DL, Harrison TR. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 14th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 1998.
Ovarian cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/ovarian. Accessed January 3, 2014.
- Reviewer: Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 12/20/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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