For Some Women, Survival Doesn't Justify Traveling for Ovarian Cancer Treatment
Some people are willing to travel far and wide for medical care, while others couldn't be bothered to go so far as down the block. People have personal preferences for their healthcare choices, and the distance they are willing to travel to see a doc is no different.
Why might some people be less willing to travel far to see a good doctor or get better treatment?
There are so many factors as to why someone might make the extra effort to go doctor who is farther away. In the case of ovarian cancer, it's mostly because the stakes are high. The mortality rate is still relatively high, and it's the fifth leading cause of cancer death in women. Therapies sometimes aren’t effective, and so it makes sense that people may want to see the best of the best when being treated for ovarian cancer. Many sought-after doctors are located in metropolitan areas, which could be more difficult to travel to as opposed to more rural areas.
Special doctors who get tons of referrals are those who are consistently good. These doctors pay special attention to the latest medical news and cutting-edge research. Ovarian cancer is one of those difficult-to-treat diseases, so it's probably best to get treatment from someone who keeps up-to-date with all the available new therapies. The latest research can always add just a slight edge in survival advantage if there is some new knowledge that may apply to your particular case.
Studies have shown that treating ovarian cancer at high-volume institutions actually may be associated with greater success
It's been shown in some studies that ovarian cancer patients have better success when treated at big county hospitals that see a huge number of cases. It makes sense. The more patients you see with a certain disease, the more knowledgeable and skilled the staff are going to be at caring for someone who suffers from it. In the case of ovarian cancer, better outcomes are desperately needed. Some people have begun to suggest centralization of ovarian cancer treatments. This would mean all women with ovarian cancer would be required to go to a big, high-volume institution to receive care.
If ovarian cancer is only treated at high-volume centers, are we unfairly limiting access to life-saving treatment for those who live in more rural areas?
The problem with this idea is that high-volume centers are almost always located in big, metropolitan type cities. If we only treat ovarian cancers in big cities, what about the patients in the suburbs or rural America? Some people live as far as hundreds of miles away from the closest big name institution. Imagine traveling for hours so that you can get to your routine check-ups and treatment sessions for a deadly disease!
Read on to learn more about traveling to get the best, state-of-the-art ovarian cancer care.