Purpose: To evaluate adherence to published recommendations for chemotherapy for ovarian cancer patients in the general community and to identify factors associated with its use. Patients and Methods: The study population consisted of 2,150 women residing in Northern California with a first diagnosis of primary epithelial ovarian cancer between January 1994 and December 1996. Patients were identified through the California Cancer Registry and their physicians were surveyed to supplement registry treatment information. Results: Almost 89% of women younger than 75 years with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage III or IV tumors received chemotherapy, with levels of treatment highest for women diagnosed at stage III. Patients 75 years of age and older were significantly less likely than younger women to receive chemotherapy (58.2% v 86.1%; P = .001) regardless of stage at diagnosis. Approximately 20% of patients younger than 55 years with early-stage (stage IC and II) cancer received no chemotherapy. Treatment in an American College of Surgeons hospital and treatment by a gynecologic oncologist increased the likelihood of receiving chemotherapy. Hospitalization for comorbid illness, race/ethnicity, census-based measures of socioeconomic status, and size or teaching status of hospital were all unrelated to probability of treatment after adjustment for other factors. Reasons reported most frequently by physicians for no treatment were lack of clinical indication and patient refusal. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that, despite scientific evidence and published guidelines that advocate chemotherapy for most women with ovarian cancer, some groups of women did not receive optimum treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research