Latina, Asian Women With Gynecologic Cancers Are Less Likely to Use Palliative Care

April 14, 2021 by Elisa Becze BA, ELS, Editor

Only 4%–9% of patients with ovarian or cervical cancer use palliative care, but the numbers are much lower for Hispanic and Asian women than for non-Hispanic White women, according to researchers’ findings reported in Data in Brief (

Using data from patients with metastatic gynecologic cancers in the 2016 National Cancer Database for two separate analyses of 176,899 and 66,781 patients, respectively, researchers found that only 5% used palliative care: 4% with ovarian cancer, 9% with cervical cancer, and 11% with uterine cancer. However, when broken down by racial groups, the researchers found that Hispanic and Asian women used palliative care only about 3% and 6% of the time for ovarian or cervical cancer, respectively. Usage was also lower for Hispanic women with uterine cancer (9%), but not Asian women.

“This analysis illustrates disparities in palliative care use among metastatic gynecological cancer patients exist, indicating unequal treatment among cancer patients by race/ethnicity," the researchers wrote ( “Our results can be used as rationale to develop and implement interventions to improve equitable provision of palliative care among gynecologic cancer patients in the United States.”

Oncology nurses have a responsibility to help patients with cancer understand their palliative care options. Find ideas and strategies for discussing palliative care with your patients through ONS (

Copyright © 2021 by the Oncology Nursing Society. User has permission to print one copy for personal or unit-based educational use. Contact for quantity reprints.