As it’s Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month 2023, we’d like to increase awareness about this disease, which affects thousands of women worldwide. It is estimated that over 7,000 women are diagnosed with this cancer in the UK each year.
Although not as well-known as some other types of cancer, it is essential to understand what it is, how it can be treated, and how to help a loved one who has been diagnosed with it.
Cancer Research stated:
“Ovarian cancer incidence rates are projected to rise by 5% in the UK between 2023-2025 and 2038-2040. There could be around 9,400 new cases every year in the UK by 2038-2040, projections suggest.”
In this article, we will explain what ovarian cancer is, the effects it has, and how you can care for a loved one living with the disease.
What is ovarian cancer?
It is a type of cancer that occurs in the ovaries, which are the reproductive organs that produce eggs in women. This cancer can develop in any part of the ovary. It can spread to other parts of the body if not detected early.
Is ovarian cancer hereditary?
Although most cases of ovarian cancer are sporadic, some women have a higher risk of developing it due to genetic mutations. These mutations can be inherited from either the mother’s or father’s side and increase the risk of developing not only this cancer but also breast and other types of cancer.
What are the 4 main symptoms?
The symptoms of ovarian cancer can be vague and easily mistaken for other conditions.
However, there are four main symptoms that women may experience:
- Abdominal bloating or swelling,
- Feeling full quickly or having difficulty eating,
- Pelvic discomfort or pain,
- Feeling a strong need to urinate or use the bathroom frequently.
If these symptoms persist for more than two weeks, it is essential to consult your doctor to rule out this cancer. Early diagnosis is always helpful when it comes to cancer as it means treatment can start quickly.
Can ovarian cancer be cured?
The chances of curing this type of cancer depend on various factors, such as the stage of cancer, the woman’s age and overall health, and the type of ovarian cancer. In most cases, it is diagnosed at an advanced stage. This makes it more challenging to treat. However, early detection through regular check-ups and screenings can significantly increase the chances of successful treatment.
Treatment for ovarian cancer
Treatment for this cancer typically involves surgery to remove as much of the cancerous tissue as possible. Chemotherapy may follow. This uses drugs to kill cancer cells. In some cases, radiation therapy is also used.
The emotional and physical effects of ovarian cancer and its treatment
Ovarian cancer and its treatment can have significant emotional and physical effects on the woman diagnosed and her loved ones. Women may experience fatigue, nausea, hair loss, and other negative side effects from treatment. They may also feel anxious, depressed, or overwhelmed by the diagnosis and its implications for their future.
Caring for your loved one
You can support and care for a loved one with ovarian cancer in several ways:
- Be there to listen and offer emotional support,
- Help with daily tasks, such as cooking and cleaning,
- Accompany them to medical appointments,
- Research treatment options and assist with decision-making,
- Encourage them to chat with you about how they’re feeling, participate in support groups, or seek therapy to help them cope with their diagnosis and treatment.
Looking after yourself as a carer
Caring for a loved one with cancer can be challenging, both emotionally and physically. It is essential to take care of yourself and seek support when needed. This may include talking to a therapist, joining a support group for caregivers, or respite care and taking time for self-care activities.
Ovarian cancer is a disease that affects many women worldwide. By increasing awareness of the symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options, we can help women detect ovarian cancer early and increase their chances of successful treatment. If your loved one has an ovarian cancer diagnosis, they will need emotional and practical support. You should also take care of yourself as a caregiver. Let us continue to raise awareness and support those affected by ovarian cancer.
How Mumby’s Live-in Care can support your loved one with ovarian cancer
Mumby’s Cancer Live-in Care is an excellent option for supporting your loved one with ovarian cancer. Our team of highly trained and experienced caregivers is dedicated to providing personalised care and support that meets your loved one’s unique needs.
We understand that living with cancer can be challenging, both physically and emotionally, and we are here to help make that journey as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
Our live-in caregivers provide around-the-clock support, ensuring that your loved one has assistance with daily tasks, such as bathing, dressing, and meal preparation. We support your loved one in getting to medical appointments to ensure they receive the necessary medical care and attention. Our caregivers also help in administering medication and monitoring symptoms. This means your loved one receives the assistance they need to effectively manage their condition.
At Mumby’s Live-in Care, we understand that living with cancer can be emotionally challenging. Our caregivers are trained to provide emotional support to your loved one. We believe that a positive and supportive environment is essential to your loved one’s well-being. We work hard to create a comfortable and welcoming home environment and encourage your loved one to remain active and engaged.
Mumby’s Live-in Care can be an invaluable source of support for your loved one. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your loved one through their journey with ovarian cancer.