Coping and supportBy Mayo Clinic staff
A diagnosis of ovarian cancer can be extremely worrisome and challenging. Even when a full recovery is likely, you may be concerned about a recurrence. But no matter what your prognosis, here are some strategies and resources that may make dealing with cancer easier:
- Know what to expect. Find out enough about your ovarian cancer so that you feel comfortable making decisions about your care. Good places to start when looking for information include the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society.
- Find someone to talk with. Find a friend or family member with whom you feel comfortable discussing your feelings. Or try meeting with a formal support group for cancer survivors. It may help to talk with others who have already been through the challenges you're facing. Support groups for the families of cancer survivors also are available.
- Let people help. If you have friends or family who want to help, take them up on their offers and let them know what would be most useful to you. Cancer treatments can be exhausting, so if someone wants to do your grocery shopping, wash a load of laundry or cook you dinner, accept the help.
- Set reasonable goals. Having goals helps you feel in control and can give you a sense of purpose. But don't choose goals you can't possibly reach. For example, you may not be able to work a full workweek but you may be able to work at least half the time. In fact, many people find that continuing to work is helpful.
- Take time for yourself. Eating well, relaxing and getting enough rest can help combat the stress and fatigue of cancer. Also, cut back on time commitments and plan ahead for times when you may need more rest.
- Lentz GM, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/linkTo?type=bookPage&isbn=978-0-323-06986-1&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-06986-1..C2009-0-48752-X--TOP. Accessed Sept. 21, 2012.
- Ovarian cancer including fallopian tube cancer and primary peritoneal cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Sept. 21, 2012.
- What you need to know about ovarian cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/ovary. Accessed Sept. 21, 2012.
- Hoffman BL, et al. Williams Gynecology. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=768. Accessed Sept. 21, 2012.