Objective: Patient surveillance after potentially curative treatment of ovarian carcinoma has important clinical and financial implications for patients and society. The optimal intensity of surveillance for these patients is unknown. We aimed to document the current follow-up practice patterns of gynecologic oncologists. Methods: We created four idealized vignettes describing patients with stages I-III ovarian cancer. We mailed a custom-designed survey instrument based on the vignettes to the members of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (SGO). SGO members were asked, via this instrument, how often they requested 11 discrete follow-up evaluations for their patients for the first 10 postoperative years after treatment with curative intent. Results: We received 283 evaluable responses (30%) from the 943 SGO members and candidate members. The most frequently performed items for each year were office visit, pelvic examination, and serum CA-125 level. Imaging studies such as chest X-ray, abdominal-pelvic CT, chest CT, abdominal-pelvic MRI, and transvaginal ultrasound were rarely recommended. There was marked variation in the frequency of use of most tests. There was a decrease in the frequency of testing over time for all modalities. Conclusion: This dataset provides detailed documentation of the self-reported surveillance practices of highly credentialed experts who manage patients with ovarian cancer in the 21st century. The optimal follow-up strategy remains unknown and controversial. Our survey showed marked variation in surveillance intensity. Identifying the sources of this variation warrants further research.
- FIGO staging
- Ovarian cancer