Mar 14, 2013 - 2:16 pm
Must admit, it’s more than a little unsettling to come across articles like this one, which says only a third of ovarian cancer patients are getting the best treatment.
I was surprised to read some ovarian cancer patients have surgery at the hands of someone who performs only a handful of such surgeries each year. I was encouraged to learn my surgeon does several similar surgeries at least weekly and hundreds yearly, though I never knew there were that many ovarian cancer patients here. I have complete confidence in my medical team, and it appears they bring the best credentials and experience to the game. But every now and then I can’t escape the fleeting thought that maybe there is some other treatment or method out there.
I’ve also had the occasional regret that we don’t live in a city with one of the 21 leading cancer centers of the Natl Comprehensive Cancer Network. I’ve known cancer patients who traveled thousands of miles for treatment at one of these centers. But I think that’s not for me—I’d find the travel and dislocation far too burdensome.
The NCCN guidelines (see theTimes story) for ovarian cancer treatment explain that these protocols are also the best treatment for my much rarer primary peritoneal cancer. I’ve pored over NCCN’s 92 pages of ovarian cancer patient guidelines and satisfied myself that my treatment has been exactly what’s specified, so I guess I need to stop worrying and just be glad I’m apparently not in the two-thirds of ovarian cancer patients who don’t get the best treatment. Still, I’ll think for a long time about the fact that the NY Times thought it important enough to editorialize on the subject of inadequate treatment of ovarian cancer.