Late-Stage Ovarian Cancer: What You Should Know About Supportive Care Options

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While treatment for ovarian cancer has a very high success rate in the event that the cancer is spotted early on, in most instances, it’s not found until it has progressed to the point where it’s usually much more difficult to treat. If this is the case for you, you need to think about your care options.

Generally speaking, palliative and hospice care are two types of supportive care options you can choose from. The main focus of these care options is to provide you comfort, alleviate cancer-related symptoms, and help improve your quality of life. It is crucial to note that these won’t cure your cancer.

The primary difference between these supportive care choices is that you’ll continue to receive cancer treatment with palliative care, while hospice care is most suitable when you decide to stop cancer treatment and want to focus of end-of-life care.

What is palliative care for late-stage ovarian cancer?

Basically, you’ll still be undergoing treatment for your ovarian cancer, like chemotherapy for instance, alongside palliative care. Essentially, the primary goal of palliative care is to help make certain that you feel as great as possible even when receiving treatment.

This kind of supportive care can help address various ovarian cancer treatment side effects such as pain, fatigue, sleep issues, loss of appetite, nausea, depression, anxiety, and muscle or nerve problems. When looking at palliative care options in Indiana, you’ll find that most care plans offer the following:

  • Nutritional and emotional counseling
  • Medicines for treating symptoms
  • Complementary therapies including massage, aromatherapy, and acupuncture
  • Physical therapy
  • Non-curative ovarian cancer treatments for easing symptoms

These services will be delivered by nurses, doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, social workers, massage therapists, and clergy members or chaplains alongside your family and friends. The great thing about palliative care is that those who receive it really do experience relief from their symptoms and improved quality of life.

What is hospice care for late-stage ovarian cancer?

dying woman lying on the bedIf you decide that you no longer want to undergo any treatment for your ovarian cancer, you can opt for hospice care. Choosing this kind of supportive care option means that your goals have changed.

It is typically offered during end-of-life, meaning when you’ve received a diagnosis that you have only a couple of months left to live. That being said, the main goal of hospice care is to ease your symptoms as much as possible and ensure that you’re as comfortable as can be during this stage in your life.

Depending on your preference, you can receive care right at home, a hospital, nursing home, or a hospice facility. Your care team will include doctors, home health aides, nurses, counselors or clergy members, trained volunteers, social workers, as well as your family and friends. Services include:

  • Prescribing medications for managing your symptoms
  • Medical equipment and supplies
  • Religious or spiritual counseling and support
  • Caregiver services

Opting for supportive care, whether in the form of hospice care or palliative care when you have late-stage ovarian cancer is a very crucial decision — one that can significantly affect your physical and mental well-being. So, discuss your options with your cancer treatment team, friends, and family to help you decide on the best one for you as early on as possible.