Quality of life in ovarian cancer

Richard Penson*, David Cella, Lari Wenzel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


While there has not been a dramatic improvement in the cure rate of ovarian cancer, >40% of women survive longer than 5 years, with what is commonly considered a "chronic" cancer. In each phase of the illness (diagnosis, surgery and chemotherapy with curative intent, remission and survivorship, relapse and sequential chemotherapy, bowel obstruction and end of life), quality of life (QOL) is one of the most important considerations. There has recently been a large increase in studies reporting the assessment of QOL; that has changed the field from descriptive reporting to quantitative science. There are well-validated, standardized scales, and approximately 10% of randomized cancer trials include health-related QOL as one of the main end points. This article reviews the history and development of QOL evaluation and the 2 main approaches to QOL assessment (psychometric based and utility based) and describes strategies for meaningful interpretation of QOL profiles. While the humanities perhaps teach us much about the value of QOL, the science of the study of QOL will be the foundation and confirmation of many of the anticipated advances for patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-416
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Reproductive Medicine for the Obstetrician and Gynecologist
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • Ovarian cancer
  • Ovarian carcinoma
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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