Widespread Flaws Found in Ovarian Cancer Treatment

“Widespread Flaws Found in Ovarian Cancer Treatment.” By Denise Grady, The New York Times

Most women with ovarian cancer receive inadequate care and miss out on treatments that could add a year or more to their lives, a new study has found.The operations should be done by gynecologic oncologists, said Dr. Deborah Armstrong of Johns Hopkins University. The results highlight what many experts say is a neglected problem: widespread, persistent flaws in the care of women with this disease, which kills 15,000 a year in the United States. About 22,000 new cases are diagnosed annually, most of them discovered at an advanced stage and needing aggressive treatment. Worldwide, there are about 200,000 new cases a year.

Cancer specialists around the country say the main reason for the poor care is that most women are treated by doctors and hospitals that see few cases of the disease and lack expertise in the complex surgery and chemotherapy that can prolong life. But many women are operated on by general surgeons and gynecologists. “If this was breast cancer, and two-thirds of women were not getting guideline care that improves survival, you know what kind of hue and cry there would be,” said Dr. Armstrong, who was not involved in the study. But in ovarian cancer, she said: “There’s not as big an advocacy community. The women are a little older, sicker and less prone to be activists.”

Dr. Bristow’s research, which has been submitted to a medical journal but not yet published, was based on the medical records of 13,321 women with ovarian cancer diagnosed from 1999 to 2006 in California.

Read more »

Be Sociable, Share!

Articles & Posts