NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Ovarian Cancer, Version 1.2017
Advance care planning starts with an honest talk
between you and your doctors. You don’t have to
know the exact details of your prognosis. Just having
a general idea will help with planning. With this
information, you can decide at what point you’d want
to stop chemotherapy or other treatments, if at all.
You can also decide what treatments you’d want for
symptom relief, such as surgery or medicine.
Another part of the planning involves hospice care.
Hospice care doesn’t include treatment to fight the
cancer but rather to reduce symptoms caused by
cancer. Hospice care may be started because you
aren’t interested in more cancer treatment, no other
cancer treatment is available, or because you may
be too sick for cancer treatment.
Hospice care allows you to have the best quality of
life possible. Care is given all day, every day of the
week. You can choose to have hospice care at home
or at a hospice center. One study found that patients
and caregivers had a better quality of life when
hospice care was started early.
An advance directive describes the treatment you’d
want if you weren’t able to make your wishes known.
It also can name a person you’d want to make
decisions for you. It is a legal paper that your doctors
have to follow. It can reveal your wishes about life-
sustaining machines, such as feeding tubes. It can
also include your treatment wishes if your heart or
lungs were to stop working. If you already have an
advance directive, it may need to be updated to be
Cancer staging is how doctors rate and
describe the extent of cancer in the body.
The cancer stage is a rating of how much the
cancer has grown and spread.
Ovarian cancer is grouped into stages to help
Ovarian cancer is staged during surgery to
remove the cancer—called surgical staging.
The cancer grade is a rating of how much the
cancer cells look like normal cells.
The cancer grade describes how fast or slow
the cancer will likely grow and spread.
Treating ovarian cancer takes a team
approach. Gynecologic oncologists and medical
oncologists often work closely together to plan
the best treatment for ovarian cancer.
Your treatment plan should include a schedule
of follow-up cancer tests, treatment of long-term
side effects, and care of your general health.