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Barriers to Quality Care in Ovarian Cancer Overview

Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in most common cancer deaths among U.S. women. Approximately 21,000 women are diagnosed and nearly 14,000 die from the disease each year, according to the American Cancer Society. About half of those diagnosed are aged 63 or older. A woman’s risk of getting ovarian cancer in their lifetime is about one in 87.

When identified and treated at an early stage, the five-year survival rate is approximately 94 percent. Unfortunately, most ovarian cancers are not identified until at an advanced stage, when they are more difficult to treat. Multiple factors make early diagnosis a challenge, including a lack of symptoms in the early stages, symptoms may not appear to be specific to ovarian cancer, and there is currently no reliable screening test for ovarian cancer.

In 2019, ACCC launched a multi-phase initiative aimed at improving care for patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer. The first phase, “Barriers to Quality Care in Ovarian Cancer,” focuses on:

  • Identifying existing barriers to advanced ovarian cancer treatment
  • Determining the appropriate use and timing of guideline-concordant biomarker testing
  • Accessing solutions to optimize the diagnosis and treatment of patients

In January 2022, ACCC launched the second phase in this effort, “Advanced Ovarian Cancer Care Delivery.” In this phase, ACCC and its partner organizations—the Association for Molecular Pathology, the National Society of Genetic Counselors, and the Society of Gynecologic Oncology—conduct a quality improvement initiative to identify key issues and provide guidance for the optimal care of patients diagnosed with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer across different practice settings. The project aims to:

  • Raise awareness for provider education needs.
  • Educate the healthcare team about trends in ovarian cancer diagnosis and treatment.
  • Aggregate vetted resources.
  • Establish a strong network of advocacy and professional partners.

For more information on this project, please contact the ACCC Provider Education department.


Featured Resource

Advanced Epithelial Ovarian Cancer-400x280In this quality improvement study, professionals from across the ovarian cancer care team collaborated to develop a comprehensive resource guide for multidisciplinary teams seeking to provide quality-directed cancer care for patients with ovarian cancer. This improvement study was a top downloaded resource for 2023.
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On-Demand Webinars

From the ACCCBuzz Blog

  • ACCC Recognizes World Ovarian Cancer Day
    May 08, 2024
    Every year, on May 8th, the world comes together to recognize World Ovarian Cancer Day. The event raises awareness for a disease that is the second most common gynecologic cancer in the US.
  • ACCC Recognizes Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
    August 14, 2023
    ACCC recognizes September as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in an upcoming webinar series.
  • Enhancing Advanced Ovarian Cancer Care Delivery
    August 30, 2022
    September is Ovarian Cancer and Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month. In recognition, ACCC shares how its Barriers to Quality Care in Ovarian Cancer Phase II will test the model developed in the previous phase to optimize care for patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer.
  • Ovarian Cancer Awareness_Blog Image
    Providing High-Quality Ovarian Cancer Care
    December 20, 2021
    Given the difficulty of managing patients with a high disease burden who are often undergoing toxic treatment regimens and managing multiple office visits, maintaining high-quality ovarian cancer care can be a challenge.

From Oncology Issues

Improving the Quality of Care for Persons with Advanced Epithelial Ovarian Cancer

Premal H. Thaker, MD, MS, et al.

More than 20,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year in the United States, most with advanced stage disease. With five year cause-specific survival of 47 percent, ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States. However, outcomes vary significantly by tumor stage, histologic type, and socio-demographic factors. Disparities in outcomes may be attributable to many factors, including sub-optimal quality of care. In the United States, fewer than one-third of patients with this disease currently receive guideline-concordant care. Recent advancements in curative intent therapeutic options for patients with ovarian cancer put a renewed emphasis on the need for high-quality care delivery.


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This project is made possible by support from AstraZeneca.