90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Few Ovarian Cancer Patients Receive Best Possible Care

A study presented yesterday at a meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology found that only about 37 percent of ovarian cancer patients receive the kind of complex surgery and chemotherapy that can prolong life.

UC Irvine gynecologic oncologists specialize in a IP (intraperitoneal) chemotherapy procedure that helps prevent ovarian cancer from spreading. (UC Irvine)

UC Irvine gynecologic oncologists specialize in a IP (intraperitoneal) chemotherapy procedure that helps prevent ovarian cancer from spreading. (UC Irvine)

The surgery is called “debulking” and involves removing all visible traces of tumor inside the abdomen.

Too often, patients rely on general surgeons or OB/GYN (obstetrics and gynecology) doctors at hospitals where too few of the operations are performed, instead of gynecologic oncologists who regularly do the operations.

The New York Times reports that another treatment called IP therapy is also underutilized, possibly because it may be less profitable for doctors.

The treatment uses the same chemotherapy drugs, but instead of an intravenous administration (through the veins), an intraperitoneal (IP) administration is done through a surgically implanted catheter that allows passage of fluids into the abdomen.

Guest:


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • lansing55

    My mom was fortunate enough to have a gynecological oncologist perform the debulking surgery in 1997. Unfortunately her ovarian cancer was already at stage 4 and she died 8 months after her initial surgery. One of the major problems for this disease is that that it has a low incidence rate and occurs mostly in post-menopausal women making it a low priority on the research end for both discovery and treatment. 

  • drscherry

    Thank you for your article on “few ovarian cancer patients receive best possible care.”  I was one of the fortunate ones.  8/29/12, after the diagnosis being missed by both CT scans and Sonograms, my wonderful general physician, Dr. Jorge Pelayo-Garcia, through his persistent effects, was able to make an accurate diagnosis.  I received “debulking’ surgery 9/14/12 (just 2 days after by 17 year old daughter’s birthday) for  Stage III ovarian cancan   I have been undergoing chemotherapy since 1o/12/12.  And I have been fortunate enough to have an IP port.  I feel very blessed by the  excellent and state of the art treatment and loving care I have received from family, friends, doctors and care providers  The overwhelming stress at this point if financial    While the care I am now receiving is the best, I it expensive, and regular folks like us have a very hard time affording it.  Getting the best treatment is not the whole story, paying for it is a big part of it.    I have not been able to work since the beginning of September.  We are doing the best we can financially, but it doesn’t look good  for continuing the treatment I need to continue to get help.      Any help you or your listeners or readers can give through getting the word out, giving. prayers, and support would be so appreciated and such a blessing.  

    And mostly thank you for getting the needed word out for increasing awareness about ovarian cancer.Please see more information about my story on my Facebook page, Scherry Messic and my gofundme page at jttp://www.gofundme.com/1yjbac.   I invite any questions from you and your listeners.  My desire, as is clearly yours,  to increase awareness of women and their families of this dread illness.

    gofundme.com/Schers-cancer-treatment 

    Sincerely,
    Scherry Messic

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

July 30 Comment

As War And Conflicts Proliferate, Children Become Unwary Victims And Targets

Kids have always suffered during war and crisis, but there's a sense the burden of instability is being increasingly borne by children.

July 30 3 Comments

California Drought: A Central Valley Farmer’s Experience

Last month was the hottest June on Earth since records began in 1880, making the West Coast drought even harder for farmers.

July 29 13 Comments

U.S. ‘Border Crisis’ In A Global Context

Bill Frelick of Human Rights Watch says what the U.S. is seeing is dwarfed by the massive flow of refugees into other countries, such as Italy.

July 29 4 Comments

Iraq War Vet Returns To A Broken Country

Roy Scranton says what he found in Baghdad "shows the evidence of the truth of what we'd actually done."