Too Few Patients Receive Surgical Treatment for Ovarian Cancer

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Too Few Patients Receive Surgical Treatment for Ovarian Cancer
Too Few Patients Receive Surgical Treatment for Ovarian Cancer

FRIDAY, June 3, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Surgery may significantly extend ovarian cancer patients' lives, but one in five women do not have the procedure, according to a study published online May 5 in Gynecologic Oncology.

David Shalowitz, M.D., a fellow in gynecologic oncology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues analyzed data from 210,667 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the United States between 2003 and 2011.

The investigators found that, regardless of cancer stage, those who had surgery with or without systemic therapy lived an average of 57.4 months, compared to 11.9 months for those who had chemotherapy or radiation therapy alone, and 1.4 months for those who received no treatment. The team also found that 95 percent of patients who did not undergo surgery had advanced cancer, and that among patients older than 75 with stage III or IV cancer, 21.5 percent received only systemic treatment and 22.8 percent received no treatment.

"Our results reinforce that patients should not be triaged away from surgical care simply because of advanced age or stage, as there seems to be a survival benefit associated with surgical treatment for these groups as well," Shalowitz said in a university news release.

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