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Patterns of care in the initial management of women with ovarian cancer in Ontario


Background — To facilitate the planning of future resources for cancer services in Ontario, Cancer Care Ontario commissioned an evaluation of operative services delivered for ovarian cancers. The affected population was characterized in terms of age, location of residence, and SES. Operative care delivery was described in terms of inpatient verses outpatient access, LHIN of treatment, surgical specialist providing treatment, and specific operative procedures. The investigations and consults around the time of diagnosis are described.

Methods — Women with an incident diagnosis of an ovarian malignancy were identified from 1 April 2003 to 31 March 2004 using the Ontario Cancer Registry. Record linkages were created to other provincial health databases such as the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.

Results — We report on 963 women with ovarian cancer. The incidence of disease was related to increasing age. Access to surgery correlated with the highest income quintile, urban residence and LHIN. Twenty-seven percent of women did not have surgery for their ovarian cancer. Women of younger age were more like to receive surgery for ovarian cancer. Use of a laparotomy for biopsy was most common in community hospital (40%). Lymphadenectomy rates were low overall; rates for gynecologic oncologists were 13.2%. All women were assessed by CXR. CT scan of abdomen and pelvis occurred in 77% of women. MRIs were done infrequently. Medical oncology were involved in 26.6% of the patients.

Conclusions — These pilot data would be enhanced with further information such as comorbidity, treatment intent (palliative/curative), histology, grade and stage. However, there are clear referral patterns to academic centres which means a need for manpower and hospital resources to deal with this population.



Elit L, Schultz S, Prysbysz R, Saskin R, Gunraj N, Wilton AS, Simunovic M, Urbach D. Eur J Gynaecol Oncol. 2009; 30(4):361-4.

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