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Ovarian Cancer Health Center

14 FAQs About Chemotherapy for Ovarian Cancer

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8. Can I work during treatments?

It depends. Some people benefit from keeping to a regular work schedule with flexibility if they don't feel well. Some schedule chemotherapy for Fridays so that they have time over the weekend to recover. Others may want to take medical leave from work. Talk to your oncologist about your concerns.

9. What are the side effects of chemotherapy?

Side effects like tingling or numbness in the hands and feet may be permanent, because some of the drugs used to treat ovarian cancer may cause nerve damage. Therefore, it is important to let your oncologist know right away if you are experiencing these symptoms.

10. How quickly do side effects occur?

It varies. Not everyone experiences the same side effects, nor do they occur at the same time. Some individuals may experience side effects after one cycle; sometimes, it takes more than one or two cycles. Side effects may get worse as the cycles progress.

11. What can I do to ease chemotherapy side effects?

Your oncologist may prescribe medications to prevent side effects like nausea and vomiting. Talk to your oncologist about your options. Oncology social workers and oncology nurses can also help you manage fatigue. Patient guides, such as the American Cancer Society's "Managing Side Effects," can also give practical tips for dealing with chemotherapy-related side effects.

12. Will they go away?

Yes, temporary side effects like nausea, vomiting, hair loss, and fatigue usually go away following the completion of treatment.

14. What kind of follow-up care do I need?

Your oncologist will monitor your progress at each chemotherapy appointment. After the successful completion of chemotherapy, you usually will see your oncologist every 2-4 months for the first two years, every 3-6 months for the next three years, and then once a year after that. 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Sujana Movva, MD on October 29, 2014
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