Survivorship Issues in Ovarian Cancer: A Review

Suzy Lockwood-Rayermann

ONF 2007, 33(3), 553-562. DOI: 10.1188/06.ONF.553-562

Purpose/Objectives: To review what is known about survivorship issues for women after ovarian cancer treatment while identifying gaps and controversies.

Data Sources: MEDLINE®, CINAHL®, and CancerLit database searches using the key words ovarian cancer, quality of life (QOL), chronic care, coping, uncertainty, and survivor separately and in combination.

Data Synthesis: Data were categorized into psychosocial, QOL, and physical symptoms and reviewed for design, sample size, method, and outcome.

Conclusions: Ovarian cancer studies focus on women's symptoms and concerns during treatment. Needs and issues of long-term survivors lack exploration. The relationship of ovarian cancer survivorship and physical side effects of treatment or recurrence is insufficient given increasing survival rates.

Implications for Nursing: The nature and management of physical symptoms, beyond pain, in ovarian cancer survivors need further study. Specifically, QOL and psychosocial issues for long-term survivors require study. Consequences for women who undergo major tissue debulking or multiple and aggressive courses of cytotoxic treatments must be understood to facilitate intervention.

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