Two studies in the February 1 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute examine whether hospital volume, surgeon experience, or surgeon specialty affect the treatment received and the risk of death following treatment among women with ovarian cancer.
Past studies have suggested that patients treated at hospitals with higher case loads or by more experienced surgeons have higher survival rates after surgery for certain types of cancer, including colorectal cancer and lung cancer. Patients may take such factors into account when making decisions about where and from whom to seek medical care.
Ovarian cancer ranks fourth in cancer death in U.S. women and was expected to have claimed more than 16,000 lives in 2004. It is typically a disease of women in their sixth or seventh decade. To examine the association between hospital case volume and procedure-specific experience of surgeons on outcomes after ovarian cancer surgery, Deborah Schrag, M.D., of the Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)–Medicare linked database to identify 2952 patients age 65 or older who had surgery for primary ovarian cancer between 1992 and 1999. They looked at both short-term (60-day) and longer term (2-year) mortality rates and overall survival.
Ariel Whitworth | EurekAlert!
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