MONDAY, March 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Where you're treated
for ovarian or other gynecologic cancers makes a difference. Women
with these conditions live more than a year longer on average if
they're treated at hospitals that deal with a large number of these
cancers, according to a new study.
Researchers looked at data from more than 860,000 patients with
ovarian, cervical, uterine, vaginal or vulvar cancer who were
treated at nearly 1,700 centers across the United States.
Median survival was about 10 years and three months for patients
treated at the highest-volume hospitals (nearly 300 gynecologic
cancer patients a year) and a little more than nine years for those
treated at the lowest-volume hospitals (fewer than 20 gynecologic
cancer patients a year), a difference of more than a year.
The survival gap was even larger among women with cancers that
are rare or require complex management. Median survival time was
more than four years for ovarian cancer patients treated at
high-volume hospitals and about two and a half years for patients
at low-volume hospitals.
Vaginal cancer patients treated at high-volume hospitals had a
median survival of six years compared to a little more than three
years for those treated at low-volume hospitals, according to the
study, which was scheduled for presentation Monday at a Society of
Gynecologic Oncology meeting in Tampa, Fla.
There are a number of possible reasons patients treated at
high-volume hospitals live longer, said study lead author Dr. Jeff
Lin, a physician in the division of gynecologic oncology at the
Magee-Womens Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh Medical
Those reasons include better coordination of care, greater
access to clinical trials that provide the latest treatments, and a
better chance of being treated by gynecologic oncologists, who
specialize in these types of cancers.
The researchers also found that the number of patients treated
at high-volume centers increased from less than 200 per year in
1998 to nearly 300 per year in 2011.
But they also found that elderly patients and those with more
advanced disease were less likely to be treated at high-volume
hospitals. For example, a 75-year-old patient was 20 percent less
likely to be treated at a high-volume hospital than a woman of
Data and conclusions presented at meetings typically are
considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about