Question asked by: 
Date asked: 
Jun 2016

Why do some women recur earlier than others?  I know four people that finished Avastin last autumn after about two years and three out of the four have recurrences. The other one is myself and my ovarian cancer has remained in tummy area since diagnosis in 2006. Should I be worried about recurrence?

Why do some women recur earlier than others?
It is important that you feel able to speak to your oncology team
Response by Lisa Young, Gynae-Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

Unfortunately this is a difficult question to answer as each lady with ovarian cancer is an individual, diagnosed at different stages and with different sub-types of ovarian cancer. I am really pleased that you remain well and would advise you to speak to your medical or nursing team for more information about your disease if you want to know more about your situation. 

It's great to hear that you have been well since completing your Avastin and I'm sorry to hear about the other women who now have recurrence. It is quite normal to feel worried at times like this and I would again advise you to speak to your nurse specialist who will be able to discuss support available for you if needed.

I understand that it can sometimes be very worrying to compare yourself to others who have been in similar circumstances but it is important to keep in mind that you and your cancer are individual. I hope that this has gone some way to answering your questions, and please do let us know if there is anything further that we can offer in terms of information or support.

Worrying doesn't prevent disaster, it prevents joy
Response by Dr Alison Farmer, Oncology Nurse

I am glad you have responded well to Avastin and that your disease is stable.  It can be very hard to predict how ovarian cancer will behave, who will relapse after treatment and where the relapse will occur as we are all individuals.  However, we do know that it can be very distressing when you hear of women around you who are not doing so well, especially when they have received the same treatment.  It can make you feel sad, frightened, guilty and vulnerable.  Fear of recurrence has been reported as one of the biggest challenges for survivors.  It might help, when thinking about worries, to divide them into worries you can do something about and worries you can't do anything about.  If your worries are mainly the sort that you can't do anything about imagine putting them in a box.  This helps you put them at the back of your mind so that you are not wasting too much energy thinking about them.  Worrying doesn't prevent disaster, it prevents joy.  

Target Ovarian Cancer is here if you feel you would like to talk and I am sure that your Gynae Specialis Nurse and Oncologist would also be happy to answer your questions about this, or any other, subject.