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NY Times says only 1/3 of ovarian cancer patients get the best treatment

seatown's picture
Posts: 262
Joined: Sep 2012

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 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.



dorothymarion's picture
Posts: 28
Joined: Apr 2012

for sharing that article with us.

Like you, I don't live near any of the major cancer treatment centres.  My nearest one would be Sloan Kettering in NYC, but the thought of travelling to New York City for my treatments is just too daunting.  (I live about 2-3 hours away from there, driving time.) 

I believe that I am receiving the best treatment possible in my local area.  My team of oncologists are knowledgeable and my gynecological oncologist is recognised as being one of the top ten docs in my state in his particular field.  I remember him telling me on my very fist visit that treating gynecological cancer patients is all he does.  "I don't deliver babies" were his first words to me! Smile  (At 71  years old, I wasn't going to ask him too anyway...lol!)



JulieL's picture
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

I think one of the wonderful things about the age we live in is that information is shared worldwide in an instant so, provided we have Drs who are interested in keeping up with the latest, we too have access to the newest discoveries and best treatments available.  Living "down under" as I do I used to worry about this but know now that what is offered is is world's best and hopefully that is the case in many many parts of the world.   



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