Ovarian Cancer

TON - December 2013 Vol 6 No 11 — December 20, 2013

On November 3, Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC, was an emotional center of activity as the third annual National Race to End Women’s Cancer began and ended there. The Foundation for Women’s Cancer, established by the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, sponsors the event to raise awareness and research funds for all gynecologic cancers. Ovarian cancer, which has the highest mortality of the gynecologic cancers, is our focus this month.

Annually, there are more than 22,000 new cases of ovarian cancer in the United States, representing only 1.3% of all new cancer diagnoses; however, more than 186,000 women are currently estimated to be living with ovarian cancer, and 14,000 women die of this disease each year.1

Of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, 15% have early stage localized disease, which has a 5-year survival rate of 91.9%.1 At time of diagnosis, 61% of patients have metastatic disease, which has a 5-year survival rate of 27.3%.1

A combination of heat and doxorubicin delivered with nanotechnology can kill up to 95% of ovarian cancer cells.2 Researchers at Oregon State University have developed and evaluated a new treatment for drug-resistant ovarian cancer by which engineered iron oxide nanoparticles act as a delivery system for doxorubicin and also heat cancer cells remotely when the particles are exposed to an alternating magnetic field.

For women with ovarian cancer, treatment by a gynecologic oncologist yields significantly better surgical results and overall survival, and women who receive appropriate treatment are 34% less likely to die. In the United States, however, more than 60% of patients with ovarian cancer do not receive the correct therapy.3

1. http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/ovary.html.
2. http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/handle/1957/43046.
3. http://awomanshealth.com/what-every-woman- should-know-about-gynecologic-cancer/.

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