Monday, May 14, 2012
Not All Women are Treated the Same With Ovarian Cancer
Dr. Robert Bristow believes a decidedly low-tech approach could significantly enhance the survival rate for ovarian cancer, even though it’s the deadliest women’s reproductive cancer, claiming 15,000 lives each year; it has no reliable screening or prevention methods; and its research funding is about one-sixth the amount for breast cancer.
According to CancerCenter.com recent study and interview there only need to be excellent care for all women concerning ovarian cancer.
“We don’t have to redesign a molecule to improve the outcome for women with ovarian cancer,” says Bristow, the Philip J. DiSaia Chair in Gynecologic Oncology and director of UC Irvine’s Division of Gynecologic Oncology. “Recent research has shown that the most profound impact on survivorship occurs when women get proper care from surgeons trained in the latest techniques for treating ovarian cancer.”
The sad news is that it was discovered that women with low income and black women did not receive the excellent care as white women or affluent women. This study was done in March of 2012. Our health plans have got to change.
“Not all women are benefiting equally from improvements in ovarian cancer care,” Bristow says. “The reasons behind these disparities are not entirely clear, which is why we need additional research.”
For the women who did not receive excellent care due to race and social standing they also extended the research to see if when they were treated for ovarian cancer if the they followed the National Comprehensive Cancer Network treatment guidelines.
Bristow and colleagues found that five-year survival rates varied significantly. (Improvement in ovarian cancer care is measured in length of survival after diagnosis rather than a “cure” rate.)
Among those whose care met NCCN standards, the rate for white women was 41.4 percent, compared with 33.3 percent for African American women. Among those whose care did not meet NCCN standards, the rate for white women was 37.8 percent, compared with 22.5 percent for African American women. Those on Medicaid or without insurance faced a 30 percent increased risk of death. Poor women – defined as having an annual household income of less than $35,000 – had worse survival rates regardless of race.