Questions About Cancer? 1-800-4-CANCER

What You Need To Know Aboutâ„¢

Ovarian Cancer

  • Posted: 07/17/2006

Supportive Care

Ovarian cancer and its treatment can lead to other health problems. You may receive supportive care to prevent or control these problems and to improve your comfort and quality of life.

Your health care team can help you with the following problems:

  • Pain: Your doctor or a specialist in pain control can suggest ways to relieve or reduce pain. You may want to read the NCI booklet Pain Control.
  • Swollen abdomen (from abnormal fluid buildup called ascites): The swelling can be uncomfortable. Your health care team can remove the fluid whenever it builds up.
  • Blocked intestine: Cancer can block the intestine. Your doctor may be able to open the blockage with surgery.
  • Swollen legs (from lymphedema): Swollen legs can be uncomfortable and hard to bend. You may find exercises, massages, or compression bandages helpful. Physical therapists trained to manage lymphedema can also help.
  • Shortness of breath: Advanced cancer can cause fluid to collect around the lungs. The fluid can make it hard to breathe. Your health care team can remove the fluid whenever it builds up.
  • Sadness: It is normal to feel sad after a diagnosis of a serious illness. Some people find it helpful to talk about their feelings. See the "Sources of Support" section for more information.

You can get information about supportive care on NCI's Web site at http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping and from NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER or LiveHelp.