Society of Gynecologic Oncology

View all recommendations from this society

Released October 31, 2013

Don’t delay basic level palliative care for women with advanced or relapsed gynecologic cancer, and when appropriate, refer to specialty level palliative medicine.

There is now an evidence-based consensus among physicians who care for cancer patients that palliative care improves symptom burden and quality of life. Palliative care empowers patients and physicians to work together to set appropriate goals for care and outcomes. Palliative care can and should be delivered in parallel with cancer directed therapies in appropriate patients.


These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) created a “Cost of Care” workgroup in response to the ABIM Foundation’s Choosing Wisely® campaign. Workgroup members are comprised of the Society’s clinical practice committee that is made up of gynecologic oncologists, medical oncologists, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and other allied health providers. A literature review was conducted to identify areas of overutilization or unproven clinical benefit and areas of underutilization in the presence of evidence-based guidelines. The workgroup then evaluated these data and presented a list of five topics to the membership of the clinical practice committee and then to the SGO Board of Directors for approval. The five selected interventions were agreed upon as the most important components for women with gynecologic malignancies and their providers to consider.

SGO’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at www.sgo.org.

Sources

Smith TJ, Temin S, Alesi ER, Abernethy AP, Balboni TA, Basch EM, Ferrell BR, Loscalzo M, Meier DE, Paice JA, Peppercorn JM, Somerfield M, Stovall E, Von Roenn JH. American Society of Clinical Oncology provisional clinical opinion: the integration of palliative care into standard oncology care. J Clin Oncol. 2012 Mar 10;30 (8):880–7.

Rezk Y, Timmins PF, Smith HS. Review article: palliative care in gynecologic oncology. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2011 Aug;28(5):356–74.

Lewin SN, Buttin BM, Powell MA, Gibb RK, Rader JS, Mutch DG, Herzog TJ. Resource utilization for ovarian cancer patients at the end of life: how much is too much? Gynecol Oncol. 2005 Nov;99(2):261–6.

Delgado-Guay MO, Parson HA, Li Z, Palmer LJ, Bruera E. Symptom distress, intervention and outcomes of intensive care unit cancer patients referred to a palliative care consult team. Cancer. 2009;115:37–445.

Temel JS, Greer JA, Muzikansky A, Gallagher ER, Admane S, Jackson VA, Dahlin CM, Blinderman CD, Jacobsen J, Pirl WF, Billings JA, Lynch TJ. Early palliative care for patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer. N Engl J Med 2010;363:733–42.

Elsayem A, Swint K, Fisch MJ, Palmer JL, Reddy S, Walker P, Zhukovsky D, Knight P, Bruera E. Palliative care inpatient services in a comprehensive cancer center: clinical and financial outcomes. J Clin Oncol. 2004 May 14;22(10):2008–14.

Fauci J, Schneider K, Walters C, Boone J, Whitworth J, Killian E, Straughn JM Jr. The utilization of palliative care in gynecologic oncology patients near the end of life. Gynecol Oncol. 2012;127:175–9.

Albanese TH, Radwany SM, Mason H, Gayomali C, Dieter K. Assessing the financial impact of an inpatient acute palliative care unit in a tertiary care teaching hospital. J Palliat Med. 2013;16:289–94.

Quill TE, Anernethy AP. Generalist plus specialist palliative care-creating a more sustainable model. N Engl J Med. 2013;368:1173–75.