Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths. The costs associated with this cancer impact both on the affected individual and on the health system. Screening is currently unproven as a strategy for improving outcomes for women with ovarian cancer. Randomized controlled trials, however, are underway, estimating any impact of screening with ultrasound and CA125 on ovarian cancer mortality. Paclitaxel and carboplatin combination, the standard first-line chemotherapy regimen for ovarian cancer, has not been compared with cisplatin and cyclophosphamide regarding the cost-effectiveness and cost-utility, but for paclitaxel and cisplatin, numerous studies have addressed these issues. The estimated incremental costs resulting from these studies fall well within the generally accepted range for new therapies. Although acquisition costs of new chemotherapy drugs exceed those of older drugs, the impact of costly drugs on total costs may be cost saving due to less costs related to supportive and palliative care. The most important costs for the patient, the pain and suffering associated with ovarian cancer and its treatment, are hard to quantify. Nevertheless, patients' quality of life must be considered when making a clinical decision to treat this disease. A review of available cost-effectiveness studies is presented and discussed.
- ovarian cancer
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