Ovarian cancer information for nurses

Information and resources for all nurses with an interest in ovarian cancer.

Resources for nurses

Nurses' network

CNSs are the cornerstone of good ovarian cancer care. They're uniquely placed at the heart of a woman's experience and should play a central role in ensuring that all women get the high-quality care and support they need.

Our nurses' network offers the latest news, resources and tools to support all nurses in improving the experience, outcomes and care of women living with ovarian cancer, including the ovarian cancer care standard.

This free, members-only area provides support and resources for nurses with an interest in ovarian cancer.

Register or log in to the nurses' network

Resources for primary care nurses

Over 40 per cent of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer visit their GP three times or more before being referred for diagnostic tests. And almost half of women are initially referred for tests for something other than ovarian cancer.

Primary care (such as GP surgeries and primary care nurses) plays a pivotal role in ensuring that women are put on the right path for diagnosis as soon as possible. It's vital that primary care health professionals are knowledgeable of ovarian cancer and vigilant of the symptoms that are commonly associated with it.

Pressure is mounting on primary care to provide more services to their local community. Patients are increasingly finding that general practice nurses are the most accessible health professional in the practice, often being offered an appointment with a nurse in the first instance rather than a GP.

We believe it's essential that primary care nurses have access to high-quality information about ovarian cancer. We have taken a three-pronged approach to significantly improve GP nurses' knowledge of ovarian cancer; guide them on how to help women who may be showing symptoms; and explore opportunities to proactively talk to women about ovarian cancer symptoms.

  1. Our general practice nurse leaflet helps nurses update their knowledge of ovarian cancer symptoms and risk factors, and gives simple suggestions for discussing ovarian cancer with patients.
  2. We published an article in the journal 'Practice Nursing' that takes an in-depth look at ovarian cancer, the challenges of diagnosis in primary care and also the opportunities for earlier diagnosis. (A subscription is required to read the full article.)
  3. Our Royal College of Nursing-accredited e-learning module on ovarian cancer takes general practice nurses through a series of clinical scenarios, helping them to explore how patients might present with ovarian cancer symptoms in general practice.

Primary care nurses typically provide services to women including smear tests, contraception review, menopause clinics and health MOTs. Women often use these appointments to discuss general health concerns – and some would mention things to their general practice nurse that they wouldn't mention to a GP.

It's important that primary care nurses are alert during these times to any mention of possible symptoms of ovarian cancer. These appointments are also key opportunities to offer women information about the symptoms of ovarian cancer, so they can be on the lookout and come back in if they are worried.

Help to raise awareness of ovarian cancer in your local surgery:

Events and training for nurses

See all our information on events and training opportunities relevant to ovarian cancer.

We run free events and courses across the UK and online to support women with ovarian cancer, which may be useful for you to refer women to.

Support from Target Ovarian Cancer

Support line

We offer a confidential contact service for anyone affected by ovarian cancer. This service provides support, information and signposting from nurse advisers with extensive gynaecological oncology experience.  You can order copies of our support line cards to give to your patients.

Our guides

Our guides are an invaluable tool for supporting women at all stages of ovarian cancer.

You can order printed copies of the guides to give to the women you work with. 

As more of your work is carried out remotely by telephone or virtual consultations, you can send our quick links to your patients by copying and pasting the information for the guide that's suitable for them.

All quick links to ovarian cancer guides [PDF]

Quick links to information guides
  • What Happens Next
    Answers your questions following an ovarian cancer diagnosis, providing advice on everything from treatment to taking care of yourself, and where to find support in the months ahead.
    targetovariancancer.org.uk/NewlyDiagnosedGuide
  • Back Here Again
    Offers practical advice and information to help you cope with an ovarian cancer recurrence.
    targetovariancancer.org.uk/RecurrenceGuide
  • My Care, My Future
    Aims to help you get the most from every day, while living with incurable ovarian cancer. It offers insights into looking after yourself, understanding symptoms you may have, your relationships with others, and more.
    targetovariancancer.org.uk/IncurableGuide
  • A Younger Woman’s Guide to Ovarian Cancer
    Provides crucial information, advice and signposting to help younger women through the emotional, physical and psychological impact of a cancer diagnosis.
    targetovariancancer.org.uk/YoungerWomanGuide
  • Genetic Testing and Hereditary Ovarian Cancer
    Answers your questions about whether your ovarian cancer could be hereditary, what a genetic test involves, and the potential implications of the results for you and your family.
    targetovariancancer.org.uk/GeneticsGuide
Quick links to wellbeing guides
  • Diet and Nutrition
    Answers your questions about what to eat and drink when you have ovarian cancer. It looks at the evidence for different diet and nutrition advice and offers practical suggestions for getting all of the nourishment you need, even when eating is hard.
    targetovariancancer.org.uk/DietGuide
  • Finances
    Answers your questions about the impact of an ovarian cancer diagnosis on your finances, providing information on insurance, benefits and pensions, and advice on where to find support and specialist guidance.
    targetovariancancer.org.uk/FinancesGuide
  • Complementary Therapies
    Answers your questions about the use of complementary therapies, including what complementary therapies are, the difference between complementary and alternative therapies, and how and where you can find out more.
    targetovariancancer.org.uk/TherapiesGuide
  • Sex and Intimacy
    Answers your questions about the impact of an ovarian cancer diagnosis on your sexuality, sex life and relationships, including what physical and emotional issues you may face and how you can seek help and support.  
    targetovariancancer.org.uk/IntimacyGuide
  • Stomas
    Is for you if you have a stoma or may get one after ovarian cancer surgery. This guide explores what a stoma is and does and offers practical tips for overcoming common concerns.
    targetovariancancer.org.uk/StomaGuide

Additional resources for nurses