Pre-diagnosis health-related quality of life, surgery, and survival in women with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer: A SEER-MHOS study

Gynecol Oncol. 2017 Feb;144(2):348-353. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2016.12.005. Epub 2016 Dec 14.


Objective: Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) has been found to be associated with overall survival in women with ovarian cancer. However, previous studies assessed HRQOL after surgery within clinical trial populations only. The study goal was to determine the association of pre-cancer diagnosis HRQOL with the likelihood of receiving surgery and with overall survival in a national, population-based cohort of older women with advanced ovarian cancer.

Methods: The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (MHOS) database was queried to identify 374 women aged 65years and older with advanced stage epithelial ovarian cancer from 1998 to 2011. Responses to the Short Form 36 (SF-36) and Veterans-RAND-12 (VR-12), two single-item global health questions, and Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) were abstracted. Multivariable models were used to quantify associations of HRQOL and ADL assessments with surgery and overall survival, adjusted for demographic and clinical characteristics.

Results: Of 374 women with a HRQOL assessment prior to diagnosis, 199 (53%) underwent surgery. Increases in physical and mental HRQOL domains were significantly associated with receipt of surgery. The relationship between HRQOL domains and overall survival were not statistically significant. For ADLs, only difficulty in toilet use was significantly associated with survival.

Conclusion: In this population-based sample of older women with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer, pre-diagnosis HRQOL was predictive of receiving surgery, but not of overall survival.

Keywords: Ovarian cancer: health-related quality of life; Surgery; Survival.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Medicare
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / mortality
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / psychology
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / surgery*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / mortality
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / psychology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Quality of Life*
  • SEER Program
  • United States