Lifesaving Biopsies Not Performed on 25 Percent of Cancer Patients

U.S. researchers say that more than 25 percent of women who have apparent early stage ovarian cancer aren’t getting recommended lymph node biopsies done, according to USA Today.The lymph node biopsies are recommended to check for cancer spread – which nearly doubles long-term survival rates.  Over a five year period, the survival rate was 84 percent for patients who had lymph node biopsies done versus 69 percent for those who did not.

Researchers also said that gynecologic oncologists were 6.5 times more likely to perform lymph node biopsies and four times more likely to perform all recommended staging biopsies than other surgical specialists.  They did not know what accounted for these differences.

As a final word, the researchers recommended that lymph node biopsies be performed on all patients with early stage ovarian cancer, unless the patient was clearly medically unsuited for the procedure.

The study was published in Gynecological Oncology.

Click here to read more from USA Today.