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Awareness weeks guide

Health Awareness Week

Ovarian Cancer Awareness day

8th May 2023

Some facts:

  • One woman dies every eight hours from ovarian cancer in Australia.
  • Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynaecological cancer.
  • There is no early detection test for ovarian cancer.
  • A pap smear DOES NOT diagnose ovarian cancer.
  • Only 29% of women with advanced stage ovarian cancer will survive beyond 5 years.
  • But with an early detection test, survival rates could improve to 90%.

This year’s theme is “No Woman Left Behind”.  Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation



Risk factors



Cochrane library





Cochrane library

Angiogenesis inhibitors for the treatment of epithelial ovarian cancer
Bevacizumab likely improves both OS and PFS in platinum‐resistant relapsed EOC. In platinum‐sensitive relapsed disease, bevacizumab and TKIs probably improve PFS, but may or may not improve OS. The results for TKIs in platinum‐resistant relapsed EOC are similar. The effects on OS or PFS in newly‐diagnosed EOC are less certain, with a decrease in QoL and increase in adverse events. Overall adverse events and QoL data were more variably reported than were PFS data.  Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews  – Intervention 18 April 2023

Impact of residual disease as a prognostic factor for survival in women with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer after primary surgery
In a primary debulking surgery (PDS) setting, there is moderate‐certainty evidence that the amount of residual disease nodules (RD) after primary surgery is a prognostic factor for overall and progression‐free survival in women with advanced ovarian cancer. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews  – Intervention 26 September 2022

Ultra‐radical (extensive) surgery versus standard surgery for the primary cytoreduction of advanced epithelial ovarian cancer
The authors found only very low‐certainty evidence comparing ultra‐radical surgery and standard surgery in women with advanced ovarian cancer.  Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews  – Intervention 30 August 2022

Poly(ADP‐ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors for the treatment of ovarian cancer
PARP (poly (ADP‐ribose) polymerase) inhibitors (PARPi), maintenance treatment after chemotherapy may improve progression‐free survival (PFS) in women with newly‐diagnosed and recurrent platinum‐sensitive epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC); there may be little to no effect on overall survival (OS), although OS data are immature. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews  – Intervention 16 February 2022

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy before surgery versus surgery followed by chemotherapy for initial treatment in advanced ovarian epithelial cancer
The available high to moderate‐certainty evidence suggests there is little or no difference in primary survival outcomes between  (primary debulking surgery (PDS) and (neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews  – Intervention 30 July 2021

Hormone replacement therapy after surgery for epithelial ovarian cancer
Hormone replacement therapy may slightly improve overall survival in women who have undergone surgical treatment for epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), but the certainty of the evidence is low. HRT may make little or no difference to quality of life, incidence of breast cancer, transient ischaemic attack (TIA), cerebrovascular accident (CVA) and myocardial infarction (MI) as the certainty of the evidence has been assessed as very low. There may be little or no effect of HRT use on progression‐free survival. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews  – Intervention 28 January 2020



Health services costs for ovarian cancer in Australia: Estimates from the 45 and Up Study
The excess health system costs of ovarian cancer are substantial. Continued investment in ovarian cancer research, particularly prevention, early detection and more effective personalised treatments is necessary to reduce the burden of disease. Plos one 18 April 2023

Mainstream genetic testing for high-grade ovarian, tubal and peritoneal cancers: A tertiary referral centre experience
Mainstreamed genetic testing is feasible, with an acceptable TAT, ensuring adequate opportunity to inform treatment decisions. Tumour testing and inclusion of moderate-risk cancer predisposition genes in mainstreaming represent potential pathways that will require further exploration. Australian and New Zealand journal of obstetrics and gynaecology 13 February 2023

BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers with breast, ovarian and prostate cancer demonstrate a different pattern of metastatic disease compared with non-carriers: results from a rapid autopsy programme
Even though a major limitation of this study is that the numbers are small, especially in the breast cancer carrier group, the metastatic patterns of breast and ovarian cancers may be impacted by BRCA1/2 carrier status, suggesting that tumours derived from patients with these mutations use different mechanisms of dissemination. The findings may focus clinical diagnostic imaging for monitoring metastases where whole-body imaging resources are scant. Histopathology 31 March 2023

Patient perspectives on risk-reducing salpingectomy with delayed oophorectomy for ovarian cancer risk-reduction: A systematic review of the literature

  • This systematic review explores patient preferences related to risk-reducing salpingectomy with delayed oophorectomy(RRSDO).
  • The current literature suggests acceptance rates of RRSDO range between 34 and 71%.
  • Factors that facilitate RRSDO acceptance include avoiding surgical menopause, preservation of fertility and sexual function.
  • Limiting factors of RRSDO acceptance are concerns about oncologic safety, surgical complications, and breast cancer history.
  • More inclusive trials in cancer genetics are needed to move towards improved health equity in this field.

Gynecologic Oncology 27 April 2023

Supervised resistance exercise for women with ovarian cancer who have completed first-line treatment: a pragmatic study
In this study, supervised resistance exercise effectively improved muscle mass and density, muscle strength, and physical functioning without deleterious effects on the pelvic floor. Considering the prognostic value of these outcomes, larger studies are needed to confirm the benefits of resistance exercise in OC supportive care. Supportive care in cancer 26 April 2023

Feasibility study on the use of single-port laparoscopic surgery for diagnosis and tumor sampling in advanced epithelial ovarian cancer — Case series of three cases

  • Optimal tumor reduction is the surgical objective in advanced ovarian cancer.
  • Preoperative chemotherapy is recommended for suboptimal cases at primary surgery.
  • In preoperative chemotherapy, tumor sampling is necessary for histopathological diagnosis.
  • Single-port laparoscopic surgery is a feasible and clinically useful method for diagnosis and tumor sampling.

International journal of surgical case reports 27 April 2023

Disparities in ovarian cancer survival: does place matter?
Social inequities in cancer survival are persistent. Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-associated mortality among women, with persistent survival disparities seen across race and ethnicity, and by socioeconomic status, even after accounting for histology, stage, treatment differences, and other clinical factors. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology 26 April 2023

Common analgesics and ovarian cancer survival: the Ovarian cancer Prognosis And Lifestyle (OPAL) Study
These findings confirm a previous study suggesting NSAID use might improve OC survival. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 6 February 2023

Association of frequent Aspirin use with ovarian cancer risk according to genetic susceptibility
The findings of this study suggest that genetic susceptibility to ovarian cancer based on currently identified common genetic variants does not appear to modify the protective association between frequent aspirin use and ovarian cancer risk. Future work should continue to explore the role of aspirin use for ovarian cancer prevention among individuals who are at higher risk for ovarian cancer. JAMA 24 February 2023

Classification of high-grade Serous Ovarian Cancer using Tumor Morphologic Characteristics
Findings of this study suggest that the molecular and metabolic signatures associated with gross morphologic characteristics of HGSOCs have implications for therapeutic strategies and outcomes. JAMA 14 October 2022

Patient and clinician decision support to increase genetic counseling for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome in primary care : A cluster randomized clinical trial
This randomized clinical trial did not find a significant increase in genetic counseling uptake among patients who received patient and clinician decision support vs those who received standard education, although more than one-third of the ethnically diverse women enrolled in the intervention underwent genetic counseling. These findings suggest that the main advantage for these high-risk women is the ability to opt for screening and preventive services to decrease their cancer risk. JAMA 18 July 2022



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