Background Better outcome of advanced ovarian cancer after centralized surgery has led to the recommendation for centralized surgery in a Norwegian health region. Whether the practice pattern has changed according to this recommendation has not been examined.
Objective The objective of this study was to evaluate the referral practice and treatment of ovarian cancer in a Norwegian health region after the introduction of centralized surgery.
Methods This was a retrospective, population-based study, including all women undergoing surgery for primary ovarian, tubal, and peritoneal cancer between 2000 and 2005, in Health Region IV of Norway. Clinical data and data regarding treatment and 5-year follow-up were analyzed.
Results In total, 279 cases of ovarian, peritoneal, and tubal cancer were included. Eighty-four percent underwent primary surgery at the teaching hospital and 16% at the nonteaching hospitals. After an immediate rise in the number of cases undergoing primary surgery at the teaching hospital after the introduction of centralization in 1995, the percentage distribution between the teaching and nonteaching hospitals was stable during the study period. The women who underwent surgery at the nonteaching hospitals had a higher percentage of early-stage disease and were at higher risk of reoperation for comprehensive staging.
Conclusions Centralization of ovarian cancer surgery has been successfully accomplished in a health region in Norway. The referral practice of assumed advanced ovarian cancer cases shows satisfactory compliance with centralization at 10 years after the implementation of centralized surgery.
- Ovarian cancer
- Centralized surgery
- Hospital level
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All authors have contributed to the enclosed manuscript, and they have no financial interest or conflict of interest in association with this work.