Survivorship Clinic: Ovarian Cancer Lifestyle

Ter­tia­ry pre­ven­ti­on: life­style in ova­ri­an can­cer. The Sur­vi­vor­ship Cli­nic concept

Ter­tia­ry pre­ven­ti­on focu­ses on res­to­ring health after ill­ness. The aim of ter­tia­ry pre­ven­ti­on (reha­bi­li­ta­ti­on) is to pre­vent or alle­via­te rel­ap­se, chro­ni­fi­ca­ti­on or con­se­quen­ti­al dama­ge. In onco­lo­gy in par­ti­cu­lar, ter­tia­ry pre­ven­ti­on plays an important role in impro­ving long-term sur­vi­val and qua­li­ty of life.

What is Long Term Survival?

Thanks to advan­ces in medi­ci­ne, sur­vi­val rates are incre­asing, and can­cer can more and more often be view­ed as a chro­nic dise­a­se. In the wes­tern world, more than 65% sur­vi­ve can­cer for more than five years. In Ger­ma­ny alo­ne the­re are around four mil­li­on long-term sur­vi­vors after can­cer. Long-term sur­vi­vors incre­asing­ly include women with or after ova­ri­an can­cer: around a third of women beco­me long-term sur­vi­vors. Despi­te the incre­asing num­ber of long-term sur­vi­vors, the topic of long-term sur­vi­val has recei­ved very litt­le atten­ti­on in both the lay press and scientifically.

How is long-term sur­vi­val after gyneco­lo­gi­cal can­cer defined?

The defi­ni­ti­on of long-term sur­vi­val in the lite­ra­tu­re is very incon­sis­tent. For this reason, the fol­lo­wing for­mu­la­ti­on was estab­lished at the 2019 spe­cia­list con­gress in Athens of the glo­bal com­mu­ni­ty of gyneco­lo­gi­cal-onco­lo­gi­cal stu­dy groups: Long-term sur­vi­val is defi­ned as sur­vi­val of at least five years after the initi­al dia­gno­sis of gyneco­lo­gi­cal cancer.

The group of long-term ova­ri­an can­cer sur­vi­vors is very hete­ro­ge­neous. On the one hand, the­re are women who have deve­lo­ped ova­ri­an can­cer once in their life and are con­side­red cured and, on the other hand, the­re are women who have had a rel­ap­se or even seve­ral rel­ap­ses and are curr­ent­ly recei­ving therapy.

Are Long Term Sur­vi­vors Healthier?

Long-term survival after cancer therapy

Long-term sur­vi­vors are often con­side­red healt­hi­er and the lite­ra­tu­re has repea­ted­ly descri­bed that cer­tain pre-exis­ting con­di­ti­ons, such as dia­be­tes mel­li­tus or pre-exis­ting car­dio­vas­cu­lar dise­a­se, are asso­cia­ted with a poorer pro­gno­sis. As part of a Cha­ri­té stu­dy “Caro­lin meets HAN­NA”, long-term sur­vi­vors were com­pared with pati­ents who died within five years of the initi­al dia­gno­sis. No dif­fe­ren­ces in pre­vious ill­nesses or medi­ca­ti­on inta­ke could be determined.

For your infor­ma­ti­on:
For a long life – regard­less of can­cer – the fol­lo­wing app­ly among others. the regu­lar con­sump­ti­on of cru­ci­fe­rous vege­ta­bles (broc­co­li, poin­ted cab­ba­ge, sweet pota­toes), ber­ries, nuts, pome­gra­na­te, avo­ca­do, green tea, flax seeds, who­le grains, green leafy vege­ta­bles and toma­toes as cheap. A low-meat or vege­ta­ri­an diet seems to redu­ce the risk of can­cer; for exam­p­le, the risk of deve­lo­ping breast can­cer is 23% hig­her with regu­lar con­sump­ti­on of red meat. The­re is the­r­e­fo­re evi­dence that a healt­hy diet has a posi­ti­ve effect on the cour­se of the dise­a­se, but so far the­re are no sci­en­ti­fic stu­dies on the diet of long-term sur­vi­vors with ova­ri­an cancer.

What role does the psy­che play?

The psy­che and rela­ted per­so­nal resi­li­ence also seem to play a role in the cour­se of the dise­a­se. It is not wit­hout reason that every can­cer pati­ent is offe­red psycho-onco­lo­gi­cal coun­seling or sup­port. You can find more infor­ma­ti­on on this in the artic­le on sup­port­i­ve offers.

Cured but not healthy?

52% of all long-term sur­vi­vors see them­sel­ves as can­cer pati­ents. Even among women wit­hout cur­rent the­ra­py, 28% still see them­sel­ves as can­cer pati­ents. This could include rela­ted to the fact that more than half of long-term sur­vi­vors still have symptoms.

After­ca­re and then?

In Ger­ma­ny, pati­ents with ova­ri­an can­cer usual­ly pre­sent for five years – after that, can­cer pati­ents are usual­ly con­side­red cured. Alt­hough this most­ly appli­es to can­cer as such, it does not neces­s­a­ri­ly app­ly to pos­si­ble long-term side effects and fears, e.g. of a late rel­ap­se of the disease.

The Sur­vi­vor­ship Cli­nic – a novelty

So far the­re have been no spe­cial con­sul­ta­ti­on hours for long-term sur­vi­vors in Ger­ma­ny, which is why the­re is curr­ent­ly a con­sul­ta­ti­on hour for long-term sur­vi­vors after or with gyneco­lo­gi­cal tumor dise­a­se (ova­ri­an, fallo­pian tube) , Peri­to­ne­al, cer­vical and ute­ri­ne body can­cer). The aim of the con­sul­ta­ti­on is to impro­ve the qua­li­ty of life and the sta­te of health of long-term sur­vi­vors, the (ear­ly) detec­tion and tre­at­ment of long-term side effects and the crea­ti­on of a mul­ti­mo­dal and inter­pro­fes­sio­nal the­ra­py modu­le. Each pati­ent should recei­ve an indi­vi­du­al “sur­vi­vor­ship care plan”, as recom­men­ded in the cur­rent gui­de­line, which also includes advice on life­style aspects such as diet and phy­si­cal acti­vi­ty. The estab­lish­ment of this “sur­vi­vor­ship con­sul­ta­ti­on” is fun­ded by the inno­va­ti­on fund of the Fede­ral Joint Com­mit­tee of Health Insu­rance Funds.

Are you a long-term sur­vi­vor and are you inte­res­ted in the consultation?

Then you can regis­ter now at or using the cont­act form at

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