Decoding the unwritten rules of ovarian cancer
We're learning more about the science of cancer every day. But medical breakthroughs aren't the only thing we'll need to make progress against this disease. Cancer patients also suffer physical and psychological harm as a result of the social conflicts they experience alongside their illness — conflicts they never expected to face and for which they may be totally unprepared.
In 2016 and 2017, the Susan Poorman Blackie Ovarian Cancer Foundation took on this challenge on behalf of the approximately 23,000 patients who are annually diagnosed with this disease. Working with GreenHouse: The Center of Social Innovation, they created The Ovarian Cancer Project.
Through this initiative, we held gatherings across the country to gain new insights into the experience of women and transgender men with ovarian cancer. Working with cancer care and support institutions, we convened groups of current patients, survivors, caregivers, family members, advocates, medical personnel, and other people whose stories are essential to understanding ovarian cancer.
We uncovered eight core social conflicts experienced by ovarian cancer patients. Click on the links below to learn more about these conflicts and how the insights we gained should inform the design of future ovarian cancer resources.
- Social Conflict 1: Before Diagnosis
- Social Conflict 2: Diagnosis
- Social Conflict 3: Timely Treatment and Confident Consent
- Social Conflict 4: Learning and Decision-making Preferences
- Social Conflict 5: Changing Identities
- Social Conflict 6: Support, Struggle, and Advocacy
- Social Conflict 7: Recurrence
- Social Conflict 8: End of Life