Ovarian Cancer Wake-Up Call

Posted on March 18, 2013

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Read this NYT article.  It could save your life.

Suppose you have just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  This is a disease which is usually caught late, with a poor prognosis.  You’re scared, you don’t know too much about your options, and frankly, you aren’t sure what to do.

Bottom line, most women stick with what’s familiar, they get treated by their ob-gyn or a general surgeon, and pretty soon the disease takes its course and that’s that.  It’s a tough disease to beat, but we can do better than this.

The sad thing is, the medical community knows what works best on ovarian cancer, but only about a third of patients get that care.  The rest get something less, something easier, something – to put it bluntly – more convenient and cost effective for the medical providers.  Many women are not even offered the most effective treatments because it’s “too difficult.”  As one doctor put it, this “is unethical.”

The way to get that care?  Ditch your favorite ob-gyn – now is not the time for misplaced loyalty – and get to a major medical center with experienced cancer specialists.  Those facilities that perform a higher volume of ovarian cancer treatments – 20 or more per year – are more likely to follow treatment guidelines, and their patients have longer survival times.

Ovarian cancer is, thankfully, rarer than many other cancers.  But none of us knows what’s coming for us in the future, so arm yourself now.  Read Denise Grady’s NYT article, “Widespread Flaws Found in Ovarian Cancer Treatment.”

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