Critical steps and information for newly diagnosed women
Ovarian cancer is known as the silent killer, but we are making great strides in treating it. Here are some key steps that can help women diagnosed with ovarian cancer take an active, informed role in their treatment plan.
- Select an experienced provider.
Because ovarian cancer is not common, women with ovarian cancer should be seen by a gynecologic oncologist or a medical oncologist who specializes in treating women with the disease.
- Request a copy of your pathology report.
Ask your surgeon for a copy of your pathology report—and don’t hesitate to ask for a second opinion if you’d like more information. It is a great opportunity for further consultation about your treatment options.
- Review national guidelines.
Check out the Patient Resources section of nccn.org, the website of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, to review current treatment recommendations for women with ovarian cancer. Written by ovarian cancer experts, they are a helpful guide for you and your physician.
- Seek genetic counseling.
Ask your physician for a referral to a certified genetic counselor or identify counselors in your area using nsgc.org, the website of the National Society of Genetic Counselors.
Remember, a diagnosis of ovarian cancer is not a death sentence. With proper planning and open communication, you and your medical team can put together an effective treatment plan that is tailored to your needs and wishes.
Wondering if you might be at risk of developing ovarian cancer? Contact a comprehensive cancer center in your region to learn about available resources. Learn more about the risk assessment and prevention program that I direct at Roswell Park Cancer Institute by visiting roswellpark.org/cancer/ovarian/prevention-detection or calling (877) ASK-RPCI [877-275-7724].
A gynecologic oncologist, Nefertiti duPont, MD, MPH, has been on staff at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) since 2008. She is founder and director of RPCI’s High Risk Ovarian Cancer Clinic, which focuses on prevention and early detection of ovarian cancer. Dr. duPont did residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and completed a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at the University of California, Irvine. She holds a master of public health degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health, and is a graduate of Texas A&M University College of Medicine. Licensed in California and New York, Dr. duPont is certified in obstetrics/gynecology and gynecologic oncology by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a fellow in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Her research interests include ovarian cancer risk assessment, cervical cancer, minimally invasive surgery, and promotion of healthcare education in minority communities.