Ovarian cancer is cancer that affects the woman’s ovaries. This can be the scariest thing to happen to any woman and that is why they will need care. This kind of care is what is referred to as Palliative care.
Palliative (pronounced “pal-lee-uh-tiv”) care is specialized medical care for people with serious illness. It focuses on relieving the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness like ovarian cancer. The goal is to improve quality of life for both you and your family.
Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses, social workers and other specialists who work alongside your other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage of your illness. You can have it together with curative treatment.
The care givers must be able to give high quality palliative care. One of the things they should guard the patient against is fatigue.
You may need to limit your activities, which is likely to be frustrating. In time, with help from family, friends and professionals, you will adjust to this new pace. You will find ways to conserve your energy but still get enjoyment from life.
Fatigue may be due to treatments such as chemotherapy or to the illness itself. There may be a treatable cause, such as anaemia, which might be helped by a blood transfusion, but often there is no specific cause.
There is nothing as important as peace and dignity. When doctors have done all they can and the patient has accepted the outcome, they should be accorded peace and tranquility as they spend the rest of their days.
If you reach a point where your ovarian cancer treatments are no longer successful and you choose only palliative (helpful, but non-curative) treatments to keep you comfortable, you’ll also need to choose how and where you want to be at the end of your illness. For women with ovarian cancer, especially late-stage or recurrent ovarian cancer, it is very important to make your wishes known.
You and your caregiver, family members, and other loved ones should discuss your options. You need to figure out what’s best for you, and how and where you’ll be most comfortable. But you should also consider the capabilities of your loved ones to take care of you and whether they can provide the end-of-life care that you need and deserve.