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Ovarian cancer symptoms, routes to diagnosis and survival – population cohort study in the ‘no screen’ arm of the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS)

Dilley, James, Burnell, Matthew, Gentry-Maharaj, Aleksandra, Ryan, Andy, Neophytou, Christina, Apostolidou, Sophia, Karpinskyj, Chloe, Kalsi, Jatinderpal, Mould, Tim, Woolas, Robert, Singh, Naveena, Widschwendter, Martin, Fallowfield, Lesley, Campbell, Stuart, Skates, Steven J., McGuire, Alistair, Parmar, Mahesh, Jacobs, Ian and Menon, Usha (2020) Ovarian cancer symptoms, routes to diagnosis and survival – population cohort study in the ‘no screen’ arm of the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS). Gynecologic Oncology, 158 (2). 316 - 322. ISSN 0090-8258

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2020.05.002


Objective: There are widespread efforts to increase symptom awareness of ‘pelvic/abdominal pain, increased abdominal size/bloating, difficulty eating/feeling full and urinary frequency/urgency’ in an attempt to diagnose ovarian cancer earlier. Long-term survival of women with these symptoms adjusted for known prognostic factors is yet to be determined. This study explored the association of symptoms, routes and interval to diagnosis and long-term survival in a population-based cohort of postmenopausal women diagnosed with invasive epithelial tubo-ovarian cancer (iEOC) in the ‘no screen’ (control) UKCTOCS arm. Methods: Of 101,299 women in the control arm, 574 were confirmed on outcome review to have iEOC between randomisation (2001–2005) and 31 December 2014. Data was extracted from medical notes and electronic records. A multivariable model was fitted for individual symptoms, time interval from symptom onset to diagnosis, route to diagnosis, speciality, morphological Type, age at diagnosis, year of diagnosis (period effect), stage, primary treatment, and residual disease. Results: Women presenting with symptoms listed in the NICE guidelines (HR1.48, 95%CI1.16–1.89, p = 0.001) or the modified Goff Index (HR1·68, 95%CI1·32–2.13, p < 0.0001) had significantly worse survival than those who did not. Each additional presenting symptom decreased survival (HR1·20, 95%CI1·12–1·28, p < 0.0001). In multivariable analysis, in addition to advanced stage, increasing residual disease and inadequate primary treatment, abdominal pain and loss of appetite/feeling full were significantly associated with increased mortality. Conclusions: The ovarian cancer symptom indices identify postmenopausal women with a poorer prognosis. This study however cannot exclude the possibility of better outcomes in those who are aware and act on their symptoms.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2020 23:32
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2024 20:45

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