Ovarian cancer: An update for nursing practice

Authors

  • Judy Mannix RN, BEd (Nsg), MN (Hons), MRCNA,

    1. Lecturer in Nursing, Faculty of Health, University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury Campus, Richmond, New South Wales, Australia,
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  • Debra Jackson RN, BHSc (Nsg), MN(Ed), MRCNA,

    1. Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Health, University of Western Sydney, Macarthur Campus, Campbelltown, New South Wales, Australia,
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  • Maree Raftos RN, BEd(Nsg), MRCNA

    1. Postgraduate student, School of Nursing, Nathan Campus, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia
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Judy Mannix Faculty of Health, UWS-Hawkesbury, Locked bag 1, Richmond, NSW 2753, Australia. Fax: +61 24570 1420; Email: <J.Mannix@uws.edu.au>

Abstract

A diagnosis of ovarian cancer is a crisis for any woman. Ovarian cancer has the highest mortality of all the gynaecological cancers. In addition to the very real threat of death, such a diagnosis raises critical issues concerning femininity, motherhood and sexuality. The high mortality associated with this disease is due (in part) to problems associated with early diagnosis. Women frequently experience non-specific symptoms, which may be attributed to other, less alarming causes. The lack of specific symptoms experienced by women, as well as the lack of effective mass screening strategies, make early detection difficult. This makes it crucial that nurses involved in the care of women be alert to the insidious and non-specific onset of this serious condition.

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