- Health Insurance Company CEOs
Help Women Gain Coverage for Ovarian Cancer Tests
Please consider providing adequate coverage for women facing surgery for ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is the deadliest of all gynecologic cancers combined, according to a 2012 study by the National Cancer Institute and members of the International Cancer Research Partnership. The American Cancer Society estimates that this year, in the United States alone, about 22,240 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed and 14,030 women will die of ovarian cancer.
These mortality rates have remained unchanged for decades, and the majority of women are diagnosed with advanced-stage disease where the five-year survival rate may be only 35 percent. In contrast, early stage disease has a 95 percent five-year survival rate when properly treated by a gynecologic oncologist.
A new study from the University of California, Irvine, has found most women with ovarian cancer receive inadequate care and miss out on treatments that could add a year or more to their lives. By identifying women at an elevated risk for cancer they can be referred to a specialist and receive the most complete surgery possible, thereby improving their chance of survival.
OVA1 is the first FDA cleared blood test that determines the likelihood of an ovarian mass being malignant before the woman has to undergo surgery. This test helps women receive appropriate care by providing patients and health care providers with more information to support medical decisions that improve survival rates and reduce surgical complications. Every day this test is not covered: women lose.
Why should people sign?
Every 23 minutes a woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Access to proper ovarian cancer treatment has been a prominent topic in national news, highlighted by “The New York Times,” “NBC Nightly News,” and a subsequent “NY Times” editorial board response. The study cited was presented at the meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, in March, and revealed that only 37 percent of women with ovarian cancer are receiving proper referral to a specialist. The NBC News piece pointed out: the problem involves providers, insurance, and failure to follow published guidelines. When women are referred to a specialist and receive the right care the results are evident, outcomes are better and women live longer.
This is your chance to stop this trend. Often called “the silent killer,” ovarian cancer frequently goes unnoticed until it’s too late. OVA1 has the ability to make a difference in the lives of women facing ovarian cancer. Women lose when they are denied access to care and insurance coverage for this important diagnostic test as part of their pre-surgical management.
By signing this petition, now through Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in September and beyond, you are letting insurance payers know women deserve access to and coverage for tests like OVA1 in the fight against ovarian cancer.
OVA1 is a qualitative serum test that combines the results of five immunoassays into a single numerical result. It is indicated for women who meet the following criteria: over age 18, ovarian adnexal mass present for which surgery is planned, and not yet referred to an oncologist. OVA1 is an aid to further assess the likelihood that malignancy is present when the physician’s independent clinical and radiological evaluation does not indicate malignancy.
PRECAUTION: OVA1 should not be used without an independent clinical/radiological evaluation and is not intended to be a screening test or to determine whether a patient should proceed to surgery. Incorrect use of OVA1 carries the risk of unnecessary surgery, and/or delayed diagnosis.