, Volume 21, Issue 10, pp 2889-2898
Date: 12 Jul 2013

Issues of ovarian cancer survivors in the USA: a literature review

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Abstract

Purpose

As the number of ovarian cancer survivors increases, so does the need for appropriate intervention and care. A literature review was conducted to assess the issues affecting ovarian cancer survivors in the USA, including the needs of younger survivors.

Methods

Articles on six topics (finances/employment, reproductive and sexual health, treatment effects, information needs, genomics, and end-of-life/palliative care) among ovarian cancer survivors were identified through comprehensive database searches. Abstracts for all citations were reviewed to determine relevancy. Data from relevant articles, defined as including a sample size of ≥20, published in English, involving human subjects in the USA, and published between 2000 and 2010, were abstracted.

Results

Thirty-four articles were relevant. Common, but often unaddressed, treatment side effects included infertility and issues with sexual health. Survivors reported not receiving adequate information about their disease. Hereditary cancer can lead to concern for family members. End-of-life/palliative care was often not addressed by physicians. Most of the studies used a cross-sectional design and lacked control groups. Participants were primarily recruited from academic medical centers or clinical trials and tended to be White. Few studies specifically addressed young survivors; however, reproductive health issues are common.

Conclusions

Ovarian cancer has wide-ranging impacts. This review emphasizes the need for more research among ovarian cancer survivors, particularly related to finances, reproductive and sexual health, information, genomics, and end-of-life care. Issues specific to young survivors also deserve more attention. Direction for future research and clinical implications are discussed.

The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.