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Ovarian Cancer Basics: Discussing Risks
and Treatment Options
By Sandra Ray, Staff Writer

(Page 4 of 4)

Caregivers can help fill the following roles in the treatment “team:”

  • Someone to drive the patient to and from doctor appointments or treatment (chemotherapy and/or radiation)
  • An extra helping hand in the kitchen to prepare and/or freeze meals for the family
  • A listening ear when the patient needs time to “vent” about the struggles of the cancer and its treatment
  • Filling in at school functions for children when the patient is not feeling well enough to attend

These are only a few of the many activities with which caregivers can help during the treatment of ovarian cancer. Perhaps the most important role is one of advocate both at home and in the physician’s office. Advocacy can be a tiring activity and one that patients may not have the strength to perform while they are being treated.

While the outlook for women who develop ovarian cancer is not always discouraging, it is an area that deserves increased attention in the research field today. Since the cancer can grow silently for far too long before it is detected, women need to be vigilant about comprehensive annual exams and reporting even small changes in their health to their family physician. Caregivers can play a role in this process as well by helping place symptoms in perspective and giving new importance to even the smallest of changes in a woman’s health. Learning more about ovarian cancer and being unafraid to objectively balance the information can aid doctors when trying to determine if the symptoms represent normal functions of the body or if it could be a more serious sign.

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