Ovarian carcinoma: Care and survival in a community-based population

Barbara P. Yawn, Peter Wollan, Marge Klee, Brigitte Barrette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Previous studies of the management and costs of ovarian cancer have been based on data from oncology practices. Such studies may exclude patients who are not candidates for treatment and may not account for costs incurred during diagnosis or primary treatment. Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe the epidemiology, management, and costs of care of ovarian cancer in a geographically defined population to better reflect the total spectrum of the disease and its care. Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of the medical records of all residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, who received a first diagnosis of epithelial ovarian carcinoma (including postmortem diagnoses) between 1985 and 1997. Results: Of the 107 women with a new diagnosis of ovarian cacinoma, 42 (39%) had stage I or II tumors at the time of diagnosis. The mean age of the patients at the time of diagnosis was 64.7 years, and 20% were nulliparous. The diagnostic assessment for ovarian carcinoma was initiated by a family physician or internist in 50% of cases and by an obstetrician or gynecologist in 16% of cases. One hundred two patients (95%) underwent surgical treatment, and 80 (75%) received primary chemotherapy. The 5-year survival rate was 88% in those with stage I or II tumors and 17% in those with stage III or IV tumors. The mean charges for secondary care were higher than those for primary care ($36,110 vs $32,367; P < 0.05) in those receiving both types of therapy. Fifty percent of those dying of ovarian cancer received hospice care for a mean of 39.0 days before death. Conclusions: Most assessments leading to a diagnosis of ovarian carcinoma were initiated by primary care physicians. In this community-based population, early-stage and low-grade tumors were common (≥30%) and were associated with lower costs of care and higher 5-year survival rates. Total treatment costs for those requiring secondary therapy were approximately twice the costs for those requiring primary treatment only, with ∼50% of costs associated with inpatient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-159
Number of pages14
JournalClinical therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Community population
  • Cost of care
  • Ovarian cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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