• Hi, My mother was just diagnosed with ovarian caner. Our next step is seeing the oncologist for treatment/surgery.

    Asked by Kian on Tuesday, February 5, 2013

    Hi, My mother was just diagnosed with ovarian caner. Our next step is seeing the oncologist for treatment/surgery.

    This is a first for my family. Can anyone tell me what questions to ask the Oncologist and what to expect during this process?

    14 Answers from the Community

    14 answers
    • Peroll's Avatar
      Peroll

      Kian, you will want to take paper and pencil to write down notes as there will be lots of information. You will first want to know the extent of the cancer that has been found to date and if there will be more scans/tests to see if it has spread. Next you want to have the Oncologist layout the treatment options as he sees them and then what his recommendations are. An Oncologist will naturally be more familiar with chemo options so you may have to see other Drs for details about other treatment options. Be sure to get the pros and cons for all options. I would aviod asking about survival rates because they can be misleading and unless you really understand them they are irelevant. Good Luck

      over 4 years ago
    • SpunkyS's Avatar
      SpunkyS

      Perroll nailed the questions to ask. AND ask for the chemo nurses phone number so you can talk over what you heard and mis-heard with someone who knows how to put it all in understandable language.

      Ask about study protocols too. Will keep all of you in prayer.

      over 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      If this is her first visit with the oncologist, he/she may not be able to answer many of your questions about her treatment plan yet. The most important question may be how and who to contact when you have questions. Remember though, your mother is the patient, not you, and unless she explicitly requests it, her doctor's cannot provide you will any information specific to her.

      over 4 years ago
    • KimmieJo's Avatar
      KimmieJo

      I would also recommend taking someone with you. I found that even if I tried to write things down and take it all in I would miss things. The information that I needed and missed was almost always in my families notes. They also asked questions that I did not think of before hand and it gave me more valuable information.

      over 4 years ago
    • Carolscheff's Avatar
      Carolscheff

      I kept a notebook and pen on my desk for a week before my appointment and wrote down questions that came to mind. When I visited the oncologist for the first time I had about twenty questions. I typed up my list and left a space for the answers and he answered every one of them. I also took my husband along to remember anything that I may have missed. Good luck....I am still here after sixteen months.

      over 4 years ago
    • ogtxaggiemom's Avatar
      ogtxaggiemom

      I ALWAYS go with my husband to help to remember things, there really is a thing called chemo brain. Sometimes he doesn't hear everything because he tunes in to one thing and misses the next thing the doctor says. The oncologist do this everyday, so ask questions and no question is stupid. And read up, go to the internet but be careful of those who are supported by companies or hospitals that have a vested interest...this site is great because we are just like you and we are going thru the same thing just in different ways. And may God Bless you!

      over 4 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar
      Carol-Charlie

      PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE..... find your mother a Gynicelogic Oncologist Surgeon. The first class was hitting the world when I was diagnosed in January of 2006. This marvoulous young man saved my life..... I was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer. I was 62 YEARS old. I told him I wanted to fight and fight we did. He did surgery and removed a 39 lb tumor/ovary (I'd already had a hysterectomy at 45) He then removed my healthy left ovary, cancer which was on my intestine, and on my eurethea..... The PET CT Scan they did a few months later showed NO CANCER!!!! He had removed it all. Then... we did I/V and I/P chemo... six twenty-eight day cycles. Day one I/V chem, Day two and day eight I/P chemo. I had another PET CT scan this past Oct6ober (five years after stopping chemo). Still showing cancer Freen..... I want this for your mother Kian.... God bless you both

      over 4 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar
      Carol-Charlie

      PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE..... find your mother a Gynicelogic Oncologist Surgeon. The first class was hitting the world when I was diagnosed in January of 2006. This marvoulous young man saved my life..... I was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer. I was 62 YEARS old. I told him I wanted to fight and fight we did. He did surgery and removed a 39 lb tumor/ovary (I'd already had a hysterectomy at 45) He then removed my healthy left ovary, cancer which was on my intestine, and on my eurethea..... The PET CT Scan they did a few months later showed NO CANCER!!!! He had removed it all. Then... we did I/V and I/P chemo... six twenty-eight day cycles. Day one I/V chem, Day two and day eight I/P chemo. I had another PET CT scan this past Oct6ober (five years after stopping chemo). Still showing cancer Freen..... I want this for your mother Kian.... God bless you both

      over 4 years ago
    • Brielle's Avatar
      Brielle

      Hello, I too found it very helpful to write questions ahead of time and start a notebook. My notebook is actually in a folder with lab reports, etc. ( the amount of paperwork is overwhelming at times).Someone has gone with me to all appointments to take notes. The notes have been great to use as references at a later date. Taking notes also takes the stress off of trying to rely on memory during a sometimes stressful experience. After a year and a half of experiences, the red notebook still goes everywhere medically related.

      over 4 years ago
    • Cindy's Avatar
      Cindy

      I agree with Carol-Charlie, the most important thing is to make sure her surgery is done by a gynecological oncologist (a specialist in both gynecology and oncology). Some questions to ask over the course of your treatment are: What stage is it? What will be done during surgery (e.g., I had hysterectomy, tumor removal, and both of my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed because of ovarian cancer)? Ask for lab reports after your surgery and after tests (e.g., PET CT scans, blood tests). I kept mine together in a notebook that I brought with me to doctor appointments. Will chemo be required? How will the chemo be administered? I had a choice of getting it via vein or directly into my abdominal cavity (intraperitoneal). I chose to have a porta-catheter which was a tube inserted into a vein in my chest where the chemo was administered. It was inserted during out-patient surgery a couple of weeks after my cancer surgery and later removed in a doctor's office after all my chemo treatments were done. I had blood tests monthly during the first year to monitor my CA-125 level and complete blood count. If the CA-125 levels go down, it is an indication that the treatments are working. If the CA-125 levels trend up, then that is an indication that the cancer is coming back or getting worse. However, not all people with ovarian cancer have elevated CA-125 levels. In my case, I did. I had a CT PET scan before and after all my chemo treatments for comparison and for indications that the chemo helped. You could ask how many chemo treatments you will have and how far apart they will be and how long the chemo treatments will last. I had 6 treatments of carboplatin and Taxol chemo drugs which are typical drugs used for ovarian cancer. They gave me the Taxol very slowly at my doctor's office over several hours and then gave me the Carboplatin faster over about 1 hour. Prior to all that they gave me drugs to combat the side affects. You could ask about the side affects of the chemo drugs. They vary from person to person. Some of the side affects I had were problems with constipation, peripheral neuropathy, leg cramps, low white blood cell counts, urinary tract infection, and fatigue starting 2-3 days after the chemo.

      over 4 years ago
    • sherryg's Avatar
      sherryg

      I found my port catheter placement and managing side effects pretty easy. I would suggest that you look into the availability of support services such as visiting nurses and home health aides while she is alone. I wound also recommend asking about getting.her involved in physical activity such as physical therapy or a walking group as soon as it is safe and preferably before chemo starts. Walking has been a crutch for m since my diagnosis. All the best, Sherry

      over 4 years ago
    • Brielle's Avatar
      Brielle

      Kian, Good luck with your visit. I wanted to share some things my daughters did that were very helpful after surgery and chemotherapy started. They gave me useful items that I continue to use after a year and a half. These included: an electric razor, soft tooth brush, products from the American Cancer Society guide online : Understanding Chemotherapy using the suggested lists for toothpaste, lotion, detergents, cleaning supplies, etc. They copied this guide and put it in a notebook that I refer to frequently. They bought yoga pants and sports bras that have been so comfortable to wear after surgery and during chemo treatments. While we all have different needs, these are some ideas that I wanted to share.

      over 4 years ago
    • derbygirl's Avatar
      derbygirl

      As someone who spent years working in a doctors office, I can tell you that no matter what you want to ask in the office, you always walk out having forgotten something. So what I always told patients to do was to start writing your questions down at home. This way you have time, as a family, to think of things that you want the doctor to discuss. When you get there, give the paper to the nurse or assistant to give the doctor so he/she can look it over before coming into the room. This way the doctor has an idea what you want to discuss and need answered. Then I'd make sure that the doctor had time in his schedule to look over the paper more carefully and email or write or call the patient with a follow up when he had more time. We would schedule time in his day to make phone calls so I made sure to bring those important papers to his attention. A doctors time is limited so giving them the opportunity to call later with more information at their convenience is a help to them. If your questions need more discussion, you can always schedule another appointment but ask them to give you more time. Try to make it at the end of the day when a doctors schedule is generally less hectic. Sometimes patients can be given a 30 minute appointment instead of the customary 15 minutes. Make sure you find out what the plan is regarding surgery, chemo, radiation and also ask the doctor about the stage of the cancer. Take along plenty of paper and a pen to write things down and have a pocket calendar with you to write dates down for treatments, visits etc. Make sure you have a complete list of your mother's medications and her surgical history with you so the doctor has that. Ask the doctor for pamphlets or information to read at home and phone numbers for the doctor, nurse, hospital, and support groups in your area for your entire family. As far as researching on the internet, please remember that the internet gives generalized information, not personalized. The internet can be a great resource but doctors cringe every time a patient says they read something online. I hope this helps and I wish your mother the best of luck and I'm sending my thoughts and prayers to your entire family. Remember that we are all here for you anytime you need to talk. Take care and keep us updated.

      over 4 years ago
    • Milagros' Avatar
      Milagros

      Buenos Día, me realice el examen CA-125 y me aparece que los niveles son de 27.2 y los valores normales según el test deberían estar entre :0.0 - 21.0, que debo hacer, ¿repetir el test.?

      over 4 years ago

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