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Help at home and working with ovarian cancer

2-minute read

Practical assistance

There are a number of sources of practical support and help at home available for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. To find out what support is available to you, call the Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20.

You can receive support services from:

  • your GP
  • social worker
  • community/district nurse
  • occupational therapist for practical advice and aids
  • physiotherapist to help with mobility and exercises
  • palliative care team to help with pain
  • home care – public or private services if you are eligible. Speak to your local Cancer Council
  • private nursing agencies
  • meals-on-wheels
  • church/religious or volunteer groups

Working with ovarian cancer

Deciding about whether to continue working will depend on a woman's health, financial situation and priorities. Some women who are feeling well, and who are employed at the time of their diagnosis, find that continuing to work is helpful. For these women, continuing to work makes them feel valued and provides them with the comfort of being around people with whom they are familiar.

Other women who are employed at the time of their diagnosis want to make changes in their work life. They may stop work so that they can have more time to enjoy the things they have always wanted to do, or they might change jobs, work part-time, work flexible hours or do volunteer work.

Deciding about whether to return to work

If you feel you need more support (other than the support you receive from your family and friends) in making decisions about work, talk to your doctor or ask your doctor for a referral to a health professional who is experienced in counselling.

A discussion with your personnel manager or supervisor early after your return to work will be useful in clarifying expectations.

Tips for returning to work

  • Plan how and who to tell about your work arrangements.
  • Give your work as much notice as possible if you need to take leave.
  • Explore options for part-time work or flexible hours.
  • Ask for leave before you feel tired or burnt out.
  • Keep records of your work hours, and any discussions or correspondence with your supervisor or manager.

Last reviewed: December 2017

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