Your Role in Care
Learning that your ovarian cancer has progressed or recurred can be discouraging, but it is important to continue to take an active role in your care. Proactively engaging in your treatment is important.
Six ways to stay actively involved in your treatment
Your healthcare team needs to know about any medications and therapies you are receiving now or have taken, particularly if you have had any reactions in the past. It is also very important to discuss any heart problems you may have now or have had in the past. Also, let your doctor know if you have liver problems, low white blood cell counts (neutropenia), low red blood cell counts (anemia), low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia), or if you are pregnant, planning on becoming pregnant, or nursing.
Like all cancer treatments, DOXIL® may result in unwanted side effects and some of these side effects can be serious. There are tips that may help to manage many of these side effects, so it is important to learn about the possible side effects and how to recognize them. Some of the side effects of DOXIL® may be managed with proactive care by you and your doctor:
- Hand-foot syndrome appears as swelling, rash, pain, or tingling on the hands and feet
- Stomatitis is an irritation that appears as redness, swelling, or sores in the mouth
- Neutropenia can lead to infections and fever
- Anemia can make you feel constantly tired
- Thrombocytopenia makes you prone to bleeding that takes longer to stop
- Nausea and vomiting
Make sure to talk to your doctor about side effects and how you can work together in recognizing them. Learn more
As soon as you notice any side effects, tell your doctor or nurse. Your doctor may need to make some adjustments so you can continue treatment. Your doctor or nurse may also give you advice:
- Hand-foot syndrome appears as swelling, rash, pain, or tingling on the hands and feet. You may manage symptoms by wearing loose clothing and avoiding friction-causing activities, sunlight, and hot baths
- Stomatitis is a mouth irritation that appears as redness, swelling, or sores in the mouth. You may manage stomatitis by taking proper care of your mouth and avoiding certain foods and beverages, including hot or spicy foods, citrus, and warm beverages
- Neutropenia makes you vulnerable to infections or fever, so it is important to be vigilant about hygiene: avoid cuts or breaks in the skin and situations that increase the risk of infection, such as large crowds
- Anemia may make you feel constantly tired. In order to feel more energetic, get a lot of rest and do only those activities that are most important. In addition, eat a well-balanced diet, talk to your doctor about exercise, and ask your friends and family for help
- Thrombocytopenia may cause bleeding to last longer. Avoid situations that may cause bleeding or easy bruising: be careful with objects that have sharp edges, avoid contact sports, and be mindful of daily activities, such as shaving and dental care, that may cause bleeding
- Nausea and vomiting may be controlled by making some adjustments to your eating habits. Eat frequent, small meals, avoiding fried or fatty foods; avoid strong smells; and try stress-relieving techniques and activities that take your mind away from your symptoms
Maintain open communication with all the members of your healthcare team throughout your treatment. Partner with your healthcare provider to evaluate progress, and be sure to share any side effects or symptoms. Learn more
As you focus on your medical care, remember to take care of your overall well-being.
- Eat right and exercise. Eat more nutritious food. Also, go for walks or do some moderate exercise activity for 30 minutes every day
- Maintain your intimate relationships. Do not be embarrassed to speak frankly with loved ones, nurses, or doctors for help in addressing intimacy issues that may arise
- Care for your emotional well-being. Cope with your emotions and do things that make you happy, such as enjoying time with friends and family. In addition, you can find support from fellow patients, counselors, and support groups