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.

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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.