Standardized surveillance recommendations may be too short for patients with ovarian cancer and too long for other gynecologic cancers, according to findings from a study presented at the 2018 Society of Gynecologic Oncology Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer.

Using data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database, researchers studied 291,624 women with gynecologic cancers to identify the probability of death over time from diagnosis as well as a stability point where mortality leveled off. The high-risk mortality period was highest for ovarian cancer (eight years), followed by cervical, uterine, and vaginal cancers (four, five, and five years, respectively), and shortest for placental or vulvar cancers (three years). 

All of the cancers were associated with a high persistent mortality percentage over time, as well. Cancer mortality was higher than other-cause mortality in patients with ovarian cancer for nine years. For the other gynecologic malignancies, cancer mortality never surpassed noncancer mortality.

Because the standardized surveillance period for gynecologic cancers is five years, the study findings point to a need to adjust the recommendations based on specific type of cancer.