Survivorship support for ovarian cancer
When you complete treatment for ovarian cancer, your care team will discuss your survivorship care plan, which typically includes a summary of your treatment and a follow-up care regimen. In most cases, the care plan will outline:
- Therapies that should be continued to help manage lingering side effects
- A schedule of recommended follow-up visits to CTCA for surveillance tests or screenings
- Symptoms of cancer recurrence
- Late, long-term side effects that a cancer survivor may experience, such as fatigue, neuropathy and cognitive dysfunction
- Resources for dealing with emotional, mental, employment, financial or insurance issues
- Resources for connecting with other cancer survivors who have experienced similar circumstances
- Recommendations for healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercise, smoking cessation and sunblock protection, during survivorship
Addressing fertility and sexual function concerns
Ovarian cancer may affect fertility and sexual function for some women. We will work with you to discuss fertility options from the beginning of treatment. We can refer you to fertility providers and clinics in your hometown, and discuss a variety of fertility procedures, including freezing eggs and donor programs.
We'll also work with you to address your sexual function concerns during and after ovarian cancer treatment. Because the ovaries produce the majority of a woman's hormones, issues like vaginal dryness, low libido and pain during intercourse may result after treatment. We provide a variety of prescription and non-prescription options to improve sexual function, as well as counseling for intimacy issues.
What is survivorship support?
Studies have shown that a significant percentage of cancer survivors deal with chronic health problems that may be related to their cancer treatment. The most commonly cited problems include chronic pain, fatigue, cognitive impairment and depression. We help our patients and their caregivers plan for those risks.
Survivorship support treatment planning takes into consideration, and plans for, the possibility of three categories of side effects:
- Short-term side effects: Weight loss, sexual dysfunction, etc.
- Long-term side effects: Surgical scar tissue, hot flashes, neuropathy, cognitive and psycho-social issues, body image concerns, etc.
- Late side effects: Secondary cancers, premature aging like osteoporosis and quality-of-life issues