Talking to Your Doctor About Ovarian Cancer
You have your own health history. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors and background with ovarian cancer. By talking openly and often with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.
Tips for Getting Information
Here are some tips that will make it easier to talk to your doctor:
- Bring someone with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask. They may also be able to give more details.
- Write down your questions so do you do not forget them.
- Write down the answers you get and make sure you understand what you are hearing.
- Ask for help if you need it. Do not be afraid to ask questions or ask where you can find more information. You have a right to know.Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
Specific Questions to ask your doctor
About Ovarian Cancer
- How soon will I know the results from the lab?
- Can you give me detailed information about:
- Ovarian cancer
- The stage of my cancer
- The grade of my cancer
About Your Risk of Developing Ovarian Cancer
- Given my family and medical history, how great is my risk?
- Should I have an ultrasound to make sure I do not have an early cancer in an ovary?
About Treatment Options
- Do you advise the current standard treatment? Or, should I try to enroll in clinical trial of new treatments?
- What are the treatment options? For each one, what can you tell me about:
- The risks
- Possible benefits
- Side effects
About Lifestyle Changes
- How long will I be in active treatment?
- What limits should I expect in my routine? For how long?
- How much time should I plan to take off from work?
- Should I get help around the house?
- Will the surgery affect my sex life?
- What are my chances of being completely cured?
- Will cancer or the treatment affect my ability to have children?
- When will I know how effective my treatment was?
- Getting the most out of your doctor appointment. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor. Accessed March 28, 2022.
- What should you ask your doctor about ovarian cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovarian-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/talking-with-doctor.html. Accessed March 28, 2022
- Nicole Meregian, PA
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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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