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Ovarian Cancer: Treatment Questions

Talking with healthcare providers about cancer can be overwhelming. It can be hard to take in all of the information. It helps to be prepared. Make a list of questions and bring them to your appointments. Write the answers down. Ask how the treatment will change your daily life, including your diet, and how you will look and feel after treatment. Ask how well treatment is expected to work, and what the risks and possible side effects are. You may also want to ask a friend or family member to go with you. They can take notes and write down the answers, and also ask questions you may not think of. You can also ask your healthcare provider if you can record the conversation.

Here are some questions you might want to ask:

Deciding on a treatment

  • What kind of ovarian cancer do I have?

  • What is the grade and stage of my cancer? What does this mean?

  • Where is the cancer? Has it spread anywhere else in my body?

  • Should I get genetic or tumor testing?

  • Should other women in my family get genetic testing?

  • What are my treatment choices?

  • What treatment do you think is best for me?

  • Should I get a second opinion?

  • What are the goals of the treatment you are advising?

  • What's the success rate of this treatment for my type and stage of ovarian cancer?

  • What's the life expectancy for someone with my stage of cancer getting this treatment?

  • Are there any clinical trials that I should consider?

  • Will my health insurance cover treatment?

  • How much can I expect to have to pay for treatment?

  • How will treatment affect my daily life? My sex life?

  • Will I be able to get pregnant after treatment?

  • Will I be able to work during treatment?

Getting ready for treatment

  • What is the length of the treatment period?

  • What will treatment be like?

  • How will I get it?

  • How long will each treatment take?

  • Where do I have to go for the treatment?

  • Who will give me the treatment?

  • Does someone need to go with me during treatments?

  • Will I be able to drive myself or take public transportation to treatment?

  • Do you have someone who can help me with transportation problems, financial concerns, or other resources?

  • Can I take my other medicines during treatment?

  • If I need surgery, how long will I need to stay in the hospital?

Coping during treatment

  • How will we know if treatment is working?

  • What side effects should I expect?

  • How long will side effects last?

  • Are there long-term side effects I need to watch for?

  • Are there side effects that I need to call you about?

  • How do I reach you after hours and on holidays and weekends?

  • What can I do to ease the side effects?

  • Should I change my diet? What foods can't I eat?

  • Will I be able to go to work and be around my family?

  • Are there support groups nearby or online that I can join?

After treatment

  • How will I feel after the treatment?

  • What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?

  • How will we know if treatment worked?

  • What testing will be done to watch for signs that the cancer has come back?

  • Who will be in charge of my care?

  • How can I get a copy of the treatment summary and a follow-up care plan (survivorship care plan)?

Online Medical Reviewer: Donna Freeborn PhD CNM FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: Howard Goodman MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Jessica Gotwals RN BSN MPH
Date Last Reviewed: 7/1/2023
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