Women's Health

Supportive Care for Advanced Ovarian Cancer

Supportive Care for Advanced Ovarian Cancer

Supportive Care for Advanced Ovarian Cancer

For those who suffer from cancer or other chronic illness, health care decisions often take a different tone. Though it’s instinctual to do everything to stay healthy when faced with chronic illness, the quality of time spent becomes even more important. Comfort and pain relief are equally as important as treating cancer itself.

Palliative and hospice: What's the difference?

So what's the difference between palliative care and hospice care? A lot of people have a hard time distinguishing between the two. Palliative care is considered medical care with comfort and pain relief in mind while a patient is undergoing standard cancer therapies at the same time. Hospice, on the other hand, is care provided when patients are no longer receiving treatment. Both types of care have similar goals in mind - to improve the quality of life in patients who are suffering from a terminal illness. The difference is whether the patient is still choosing to fight their disease.

People with advanced cancer would likely benefit from palliative or hospice care

If you or someone you love is living with advanced ovarian cancer, both palliative and hospice care are things you should be thinking about. It's incredibly important not to forget that beyond the science of treating your disease, you must be treated as a human too. If you are cured but left with no happiness or function, then what was the point of the pain you endured? When you have an advanced disease, questions such as these surface much more often than before. We are reminded that life isn't just about living, but also about the enrichment and quality as well.

What kind of therapies does palliative care offer?

What does palliative care entail? Along with your standard cancer treatments, palliative care offers adjunctive treatment for various aspects of your physical and emotional health. Ovarian cancer patients often suffer from emotional symptoms such as sleep problems, depression, anxiety, and nerve or muscles problems. Many may also experience fatigue, nausea, and loss of appetite that can be side effects of chemotherapy or a manifestation of cancer itself. These issues are often not addressed by standard medications or treatments, and thus palliative care plays a huge role in ensuring comfort and happiness throughout your cancer battle.

Palliative care goes far beyond just medications

To treat these issues that often plague ovarian cancer patients, many different modalities for therapy may be offered. Medications are available and can be prescribed for physical symptoms such as pain or nausea. They may also be used in conjunction with counseling for emotional distress such as depression and anxiety. Other complementary medicines such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, and massage are also great options to help alleviate emotional or physical stress.

Exercise isn't just for people who are healthy! Regular activity can be beneficial for patients suffering from advanced cancer too. Physical therapy is also an important way for patients to maintain the function of their muscles and joints, and can also improve physical stamina and mental health as well.

Read on to learn more.