Are you shocked your ovarian cancer screening shows signs of cancer? It might sound like it’s the end of the world, but here are some tips for dealing with it.
What is ovarian cancer?
Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that begins in your ovary and, while it primarily affects women over 50 years old, it can also attack younger women. 
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are not too noticeable during the early stages. Most women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer after it reaches stage III or IV.
You might be experiencing the signs of ovarian cancer if: 
- You frequently feel bloated
- Your tummy is swollen
- You feel discomfort around the belly or pelvic area
- You feel full quickly when eating
- You have the urge to pee more often than usual
How is it diagnosed?
There are three ways of diagnosing ovarian cancer through a pelvic exam, Transvaginal sonography, and a CA-125 test .
A pelvic exam is mandatory for women age 21 and above. This test is done to examine your internal reproductive organs.
This procedure uses an ultrasound by putting a special tool in your vagina to check your internal organs. We use Transvaginal Sonography check if there are any abnormalities in your pelvis.
This test determines the level of a protein that is produced by the ovarian cancer cells (CA-125) for women who are at risk of ovarian cancer or abnormal pelvic exam.
How do I cope with it?
Talk about it
When you are diagnosed with cancer, you will feel all sorts of emotions. I suggest you talk about your emotions with people you trust and not to bottle it up. Talking about it to other people also helps create a positive attitude towards the situation as well as helping you to gain strength from each other.
Support groups can also be a good way to communicate your feelings effectively because you can share your journey and feelings with people who have the same condition you do.
You need to expect changes, both emotional and physical. For example, chemotherapy treatment can cause hair loss. It is understandable to be upset about it, as hair plays a big part in a woman’s self-esteem. However, you have to remember that people who love you will not see you any differently. 
Get financial support
The cost of cancer treatments is not cheap. Find an organisation that can help you with medical billings. In Singapore, there are some organisations that can help you to get the financial support you need. You can check www.ocrahope.org to see which organisations can help with your financial situation.
I hope this article helps you to cope with ovarian cancer better. Remember, your attitude towards the situation plays a big part in your recovery.
Dr Timothy Lim Yong Kuei is a Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology with a special interest in the management of gynaecological cancer and has more than 20 years of medical experience. He graduated from the National University of Singapore in 1998 and obtained the Membership from the Royal College of O&G, London in 2003. He started his gynaecological oncology fellowship training in the Department of Gynaecological Oncology, KKH in 2006 and was awarded the Health Manpower Development Programme (HMDP) award from MOH to train in minimally invasive gynaecological cancer surgery in France in 2008.