Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among U.S women.1 Because early disease may be asymptomatic or symptoms may be attributed to other health issues, most ovarian cancers are not identified at an early stage when the disease is most treatable and survival rates are highest.
The majority (85% to 90%) of malignant ovarian cancers are epithelial ovarian carcinomas. Epithelial ovarian carcinomas are classified into different types. Most common among these is the serous type (52%), which can include high-grade and low-grade tumors. Other types of malignant epithelial ovarian cancers include clear cell (6%), mucinous, endometrioid (10%), and mucinous (6%).1
As knowledge of the molecular biology of ovarian cancer grows, molecular biomarker testing has become increasingly important. Recent guideline recommendations call for all women with ovarian cancer to be offered BRCA testing;2 however, it is estimated that only 10 to 32 percent of patients have had such testing performed.3 Identification of BRCA mutations through early testing is critical in ovarian cancer to identify both somatic (acquired mutation) and germline (inherited) BRCA mutations as this information may inform treatment decision-making.
The Barriers to Quality Care in Ovarian Cancer education project will look at coordination and communication within the multidisciplinary cancer care team to help cancer programs and practices better understand existing barriers in care delivery for patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer across different settings of care. Guided by an expert Steering Committee and facilitated by ACCC, three cancer programs will create and pilot process improvement plans that address specific barriers and/or gaps in care for this patient population.
Rockville, MD — The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) congratulates the entire oncology community on the achievement of the largest one-year drop in cancer mortality—the record decline in annual cancer deaths was measured from 2016 to 2017. The numbers were reported in the American Cancer Society’s yearly Cancer Statistics, 2020, report released January 8. The study authors attribute the record-setting decline primarily to a reduction in deaths from lung cancer.
ACCC commends the dedicated efforts of thousands of oncology professionals across all sectors of healthcare whose work underlies and drives these improvements in our population’s health. Their tenacity continues to bring advances and innovations in outreach, screening, diagnosis, treatment, monitoring, and care delivery from bench to bedside.
“This record-breaking decline in U.S. cancer deaths reflects commitment from patients, providers, payers, policymakers, and communities throughout the country,” said ACCC President Ali McBride, PharmD, MS, BCOP. “Helping to ensure access to the latest advances in knowledge, diagnosis, and treatment is critical to realizing these improvements in our population’s health. Working together, we can continue to reduce the burden of cancer.
The Cancer Statistics, 2020 report finds that melanoma skin cancer saw the greatest decline in cancer deaths and points to the role of immunotherapy checkpoint inhibitor drugs in helping achieve this change. During 2013-2017, the overall death rate from melanoma fell by 7 percent each year for those ages 20 to 64, 1 percent per year in those ages 50 to 64. For those age 65 and older, the death rate fell between 5 to 6 percent. Prior to 2013, mortality rates for this segment had been increasing.
ACCC and its membership work collaboratively, sharing approaches and practical solutions—from cancer prevention and screening to strategies for overcoming real-world barriers so that patients have access to new and emerging therapies.
“ACCC, through its Immuno-Oncology Institute, is at the forefront of helping cancer programs and providers overcome barriers to successful integration of new therapies into practice,” said Dr. McBride. “In 2020 we look forward to expanding the practical resources, tools, and education required for interdisciplinary teams to deliver state-of-the art cancer care.”
Each year, the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures 2020 report includes a special section highlighting a specific concern. Last year, the focus was on the critical challenge of the aging U.S. population and, specifically, the growing population of cancer survivors who are the most elderly.
ACCC provides a robust online resource through its program on Multidisciplinary Approaches to Caring for Geriatric Patients with Cancer that advocates for the integration of geriatric assessment into cancer care.
In this year’s report, researchers draw attention to adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients. ACCC members continue to share information on how to better meet the unique needs of these patients. Recent resources are available at accc-cancer.org/AYA-resources.
ACCC members have also been at the vanguard of operationalizing low-dose CT screening programs for lung cancer. The association partners with both patient advocacy and provider organizations such as the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer, Lungevity, the American College of Chest Physicians, and the College of American Pathologists to develop and deliver tools and peer-driven support to continue to improve care for those diagnosed with lung cancer.
View Cancer Statistics, 2020, at cacancerjournal.com.
Learn more about the Association of Community Cancer Center’s education resources for the multidisciplinary cancer care team at accc-cancer.org/learn.