Society Of Gynecologic Oncologists Release: Study Finds Guidelines Help Ovarian Cancer Patients Receive Proper Referrals For Specialized Treatment

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2002, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (SGO) published the first referral guidelines for patients diagnosed with pelvic masses. In this study of more than 1,000 women who were diagnosed with pelvic masses requiring surgery, a group of physicians found that when these guidelines were used, 94 percent of women with post-menopausal ovarian or other gynecologic cancers would have been appropriately referred to gynecologic oncologists for specialized treatment.

Specifically, the study involved a retrospective examination of women who underwent surgery for a pelvic mass between July 2000 and June 2001 at seven university-based, academic institutions.

The findings show that the guidelines can function as an effective tool to help direct the highest risk group of women with pelvic masses to specialty care. Additionally, the findings show that a family history of ovarian and breast cancer in first degree relatives is less useful than the other four criteria-postmenopausal state, abnormal pre-operative CA-125 level, presence of ascites and evidence of abdominal or distant metastasis by exam and imaging study-in predicting ovarian cancer.

"Numerous studies have demonstrated that specialized treatment by a gynecologic oncologist improves treatment outcomes for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. This study shows that the SGO and ACOG guidelines can be effective in helping to achieve optimal care for ovarian cancer patients," said Michael L. Berman, MD, UCI Medical Center.

More information on the study may be found in the manuscript "Assessment of SGO and ACOG Referral Guidelines for Women with Pelvic Masses in Identifying Ovarian Cancer Patients." The authors of the study are: Samual S. Im, MD, UCI Medical Center; Alan N. Gordon, MD, Texas Medical Center; Barbara Buttin, MD, Barnes-Jewish Hospital; Charles A. Leath III, MD, UAB Hospital; Bobbie S. Gostout, MD; Chirag Shah, MD, University of Washington Medical Center; Kenneth D. Hatch, MD, Arizona Health Sciences Center; Jianmin Wang, MD, Gynecologic Oncology Group Statistical Office; and Michael L. Berman, MD, UCI Medical Center.

In 2003, it is estimated that more than 25,000 new cases will be diagnosed and approximately 14,400 women will die from ovarian cancer in the U.S.

The SGO is a national medical specialty organization of physicians who are trained in the comprehensive management of women with malignancies of the reproductive tract. Its purpose is to improve the care of women with gynecologic cancer by encouraging research, disseminating knowledge which will raise the standards of practice in the prevention and treatment of gynecologic malignancies and cooperating with other organizations interested in women's health care, oncology and related fields. The Society's membership is primarily comprised of gynecologic oncologists, as well as other related medical specialists such as, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and pathologists. SGO members provide multidisciplinary cancer care including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, supportive care and surgery. More information on the SGO can be found at

Society of Gynecologic Oncologists

CONTACT: Amy Ruth, mobile: +1-202-256-7312, for the Society ofGynecologic Oncologists

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