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Diane was diagnosed with low grade serous ovarian cancer four years ago, in 2015. She discusses the particular challenges faced by low grade ovarian cancer patients and offers her advice to others with a similar diagnosis.

‘Living with low grade serous ovarian cancer can be extremely frustrating because it is so rare. I have had to be my own advocate and challenge clinical decisions at a time when I felt emotionally labile and less than well. Low grade ovarian cancers do not respond in the same way as high grade to chemotherapy, yet this is still the go-to treatment of choice. Hormone therapies (aromatase inhibitors) have been shown to have a good effect in low grade ovarian cancer patients and questions are being asked as to whether surgical debulking of the tumours followed by hormone therapy should be offered as first line treatment. Again, robust research needs to take place to enable low grade ovarian cancer to have its own treatment guidelines and I hope for that day to come soon.’

‘This is my story and although the disease seems to have been relentless, I have never given up hope. I would advise any woman with low grade ovarian cancer to use the support and resources out there because they really do help you and your loved ones to get your head around what is going on. Sites such as Ovacome are a wonderful resource so please use them. I didn’t use the online forum initially, but I do now. I do advocate that sharing your story, your hopes and your fears with others in the same situation is of great support. If you type “Low grade ovarian cancer” into the forum subject box you will find all us others on there with the same disease. I also belong to a Facebook group for low grade ovarian cancer specifically because of the rarity of this particular sub-group, but you do need to make sure that the source of your support and information is credible and trustworthy. Peer support is so good for making you feel less alone but also don’t forget that your gynae-oncology nurse specialist is always there too, to support you and clarify anything that you are unsure of.’

‘You can live life with cancer. I and many others are living proof of this, so never feel alone and never give up hope. Treatments have come a long way since I started to work in the world of cancer as a palliative nurse and the one thing I can tell you is that people live far longer now with cancer than ever before. Once you accept your new normal, life can resume and you can still have fun.’

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If you would like to find out more about Diane’s story, visit the ‘Members’ Stories’ section of our website.

If you have questions about low grade ovarian cancer, get in touch with our support team on 0800 008 7054 or at [email protected]