University of California San Francisco | About UCSF | UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco
Search Site | Find a Doctor

Taking Charge: Living with Ovarian Cancer

A diagnosis of ovarian cancer may bring on overwhelming emotions, ranging from fear to confusion to grief. Talking about these emotions and the issues you face, such as body image and sexuality, can be helpful. Your doctor can recommend support groups or counselors to help guide you through this challenging time.

Ovarian Cancer Myths

Using birth control pills increases your risk of ovarian cancer.

This is not true. Use of oral contraceptives actually reduces your risk of ovarian cancer. Other factors that reduce your risk include having been pregnant, breast feeding, and, for reasons that are not well understood, having a tubal ligation.

Patients who had both ovaries removed as part of treatment can't use hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

This is not true. Women who have had this disease can take supplemental hormones. Use of these hormones has no effect on whether their disease recurs. It does, however, help to manage symptoms of menopause caused by removal of the ovaries and to protect against bone loss, just as it does in women who have not had ovarian cancer.

Read More


Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Breast Care

Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Gynecologic Surgical Oncology
1825 Fourth St., Fourth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-9600
New Patient Fax: (415) 885-7662

Condition Information

Patient Experiences

  • Dipti Anderson
    Once a Patient, She Now Guides Others through Treatment
  • Kelly Corrigan
    Survivor Shares Advice About Breast Cancer to Others
  • Susan Foley
    Breast Cancer Survivor Empowered by Information
  • Jessica Galloway
    Breast Cancer Turns San Francisco Mom into Advocate
  • Doris Ward
    Former San Francisco Supervisor Beats Breast Cancer
  • Lydia Zipp
    Ovarian Cancer Survivor Spreads Awareness