Advanced Breast Cancer: Learn about treatment options.

Ovarian Cancer

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Ovarian cancer may occur in one or both of the ovaries. The ovaries are a pair of small, almond-sized organs in the lower abdomen. Ovaries produce eggs and hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are important in helping the body work correctly.


CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection after surgery. You may get a blood clot in your arm or leg. The clot may travel to your heart or brain and cause life-threatening problems, such as a heart attack or stroke. Even with treatment, your cancer may spread or return. If ovarian cancer is not treated, it may spread to other parts of your body, such as the liver or lungs. Cancer that spreads may prevent other organs from working as they should.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Medicines:

  • Antinausea medicine: This medicine may be given to calm your stomach and prevent vomiting.

  • Diuretics: This medicine is given to decrease edema (excess fluid) that collects in a part of your body, such as your legs. Diuretics can also remove excess fluid from around your heart or lungs and decrease your blood pressure. It is often called water pills. You may urinate more often when you take this medicine.

  • Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.

Tests:

  • Blood tests: You may need a blood test that measures the level of a chemical called CA-125. A higher level than normal may mean you have ovarian cancer.

  • Pelvic ultrasound: An ultrasound uses sound waves to show pictures on a monitor. An ultrasound may be done to look at your ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, liver, or other organs.

  • CT scan: This test is also called a CAT scan. An x-ray machine uses a computer to take pictures of your abdomen, including your ovaries. The pictures may show the location of the tumor. You may be given a dye before the pictures are taken to help caregivers see the pictures better. Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.

Treatment:

Ovarian cancer is treated depending on the size of the tumor and stage of the cancer. You may need more than one of the following treatments:

  • Surgery: This may be done to remove one or both of your ovaries.

  • Chemotherapy: These medicines are used to kill cancer cells.

  • Radiation: X-rays or gamma rays are used to kill cancer cells and to shrink the tumor or tumors.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Ovarian Cancer (Inpatient Care)

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