When you are first diagnosed with ovarian cancer it is only natural to feel frightened and worried about the future. Some women want to find out as much as possible about the disease as soon as they can; others prefer to seek information at a gentler pace.

Many people will be very shocked by the news, often because they had no idea that their symptoms were going to be due to cancer. Younger women may say ‘I didn’t think people my age got ovarian cancer’, as it is mainly a disease of women aged 50 and over.  Other women will have had an inkling that they might have cancer and, although shocked and upset, they may also be relieved that a diagnosis has at last been reached and treatment can begin. Many women feel frightened of the treatment, of hospitals, of operations, of dying, of pain, of the future, of losing their job. These are all very real and understandable concerns.

The symptoms of ovarian cancer can be vague, so some women, especially those who’ve had to fight to have their investigations done, will be angry that no one seemed to take their problems seriously. Women in this position may also experience heightened anxiety about whether this will affect the chances of their treatment being successful.

Others may avoid thinking about their diagnosis, hoping or pretending that a mistake has been made. Some might even blame themselves,  worrying that they did something to cause the cancer, which is very unlikely.

Many women will feel sad about the effect the illness will have on their families, having to expose them to all the worries and uncertainties of treatment.  Younger women may be upset at the effects of ovarian cancer on their fertility.

It is normal to feel angry, frightened and guilty when you are diagnosed with cancer, and it can help to share those feelings. Some women can find support  from their family and friends, while others prefer to talk to someone outside their immediate circle. Ovacome offers one to one support and advice, and we can also put you in touch with other women who’ve had similar experiences.  You may find it helpful to join the Ovacome online community, which can be accessed in the My Ovacome section of this website.

However you feel, it will take a while for the situation to sink in.  It can help to have someone with you at each appointment as it may be hard to take in all the information you receive.

Just remember that there is lots of support and information available. Please do call us on Freephone 0800 008 7054 and we will be happy to listen and point you in the right direction.