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32

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Ovarian Cancer, Version 1.2017

3

Cancer staging

Review

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

legally valid.

Review

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Cancer staging is how doctors rate and

describe the extent of cancer in the body.

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The cancer stage is a rating of how much the

cancer has grown and spread.

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Ovarian cancer is grouped into stages to help

plan treatment.

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Ovarian cancer is staged during surgery to

remove the cancer—called surgical staging.

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The cancer grade is a rating of how much the

cancer cells look like normal cells.

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The cancer grade describes how fast or slow

the cancer will likely grow and spread.

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Treating ovarian cancer takes a team

approach. Gynecologic oncologists and medical

oncologists often work closely together to plan

the best treatment for ovarian cancer.

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Your treatment plan should include a schedule

of follow-up cancer tests, treatment of long-term

side effects, and care of your general health.