Finding Support Resources for Ovarian Cancer
Last updated: December 2022
Finding resources for support following a cancer diagnosis is vital. While you choose a treatment plan to care for your body, cancer support resources help care for your mental and emotional well-being.
We recently conducted the 2nd Ovarian Cancer In America Survey. Of the 77 survey questions, several asked about access to support resources. Here is what we learned about attitudes toward ovarian cancer support resources.
Feeling supported by family and friends
Cancer can impact relationships as the illness takes a toll. Relationship roles and responsibilities may shift when one partner or parent is sick. Some relationships navigate those changes more easily than others.1
Accessing support groups or counseling can lessen the strain. Individual, couples, and family counseling can help people communicate. Expressing fears and frustrations about cancer in the family helps everyone.1
The In America Survey revealed that:
- Most respondents (58 percent) had not experienced a negative impact on family relationships. However, 17 percent felt strongly that they had.
- Most respondents (64 percent) had experienced some negative effects of cancer on their friendships or social life.
Finding other sources of support
The digital age offers easy access to support resources. Survey responses showed that 47 percent of people with ovarian cancer are aware of the support services available to them.
The top responses for where folks learn about ovarian cancer are:
- Doctor, nurse, or other healthcare providers (76 percent)
- Ovarian cancer-specific websites (70 percent)
- Internet search (50 percent)
- Online support groups, forums, or patient communities (43 percent)
- Facebook (32 percent)
- Other patients with ovarian cancer (26 percent)
- Associations such as Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (24 percent)
Engaging with associations
Association websites offer ways to learn and engage with ovarian cancer resources. Around 46 percent of those surveyed had visited an association’s website last year. Respondents also engaged with associations by:
- Following them on social media (37 percent)
- Signing up to receive newsletters (31 percent)
- Listening to or watching podcasts, webinars, and videos (24 percent)
- Raising funds or participating in fundraisers (14 percent)
Getting peer support
Peer support is valuable when you are living with cancer. Fellow cancer warriors understand this journey in a unique way. Family and friends cannot always relate in the same way.2,3
Giving and receiving support can provide a sense of purpose. And connecting with others living with ovarian cancer often feels affirming. It lets you ask questions and share your feelings without being judged.2,3
When asked about engaging in a mentor/mentee relationship, survey respondents reported:
- 21 percent have a mentoring relationship.
- 22 percent are interested in finding a mentoring relationship.
- 49 percent do not have or are not interested in a mentoring relationship.
Joining support groups
While most respondents are not part of a mentoring relationship, they are active in support groups. As mentioned above, 43 percent are involved in online support groups, forums, or patient communities.
This is another form of peer support. It tends to feel more informal and involves a larger number of people. Support groups can take different forms. They meet in person, online, or by phone. They might be for cancer warriors only or include family members.4
Sometimes social workers or healthcare professionals lead groups. Other times, a cancer survivor leads a group. Knowing your needs can help you determine which group is best for you.4
The 2022 Ovarian Cancer In America Survey was conducted online from January through April 2022. The survey was completed by 270 people.
Which word, if any, best describes your reaction to being diagnosed with ovarian cancer?
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