If you developed ovarian cancer from using talc based products, such as Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder, you will need to see a doctor regularly for the rest of your life. Once you’ve completed initial treatment, there will be regular follow-up visits to look for any signs that the cancer is returning. If it recurs, additional treatments need to be started right away.
There are often long term side effects from chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. The side effects themselves may require medical intervention. Some long term side effects include:
- Weight loss and difficulty regaining weight
- Nerve pain (peripheral neuropathy)
- Bowel obstruction from scar tissue
Any medical provider who cares for you, needs access to the records related to your cancer. Stage, grade, biopsy results, and treatments all affect what types of future tests and interventions you will need. It’s important to always have ready access to this information.
Keeping your records organized, and ensuring you have all the information needed to provide you with the best care, will help you in the long run.
Stay Organized and Informed
- Hold onto your initial biopsy results, and the results of any follow-on biopsy tests. Also note the original Stage and Grade of your cancer when first diagnosed, and any subsequent grading and staging.
- Keep a list of every medication you have taken to treat your cancer. Also record how long you took the medications. Write down any medications that helped relieve negative symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea.
- All of your medical reports are valuable. These include: radiology, surgical, radiation, and discharge summaries. Keep a copy of everything you get.
- Make sure you stay insured. Cancer screening and treatment is very expensive and you don’t want to lose any time if there are changes to your condition.
- Get an independent opinion on the possible cause of your cancer. For example, if you used talc based baby-powders and developed ovarian cancer, the manufacturer may be responsible for some of your medical costs.
Scan your medical documents and keep them easily accessible, for example in google docs or i-could. You can also carry them on a smart phone, or keep photocopies in a folder.
Greg Vigna MD, JD is a personal injury attorney, actively practicing rehabilitation doctor, and certified life care planner. He understands the immediate and long term effects associated with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer.