Pan-Canadian standards for gynecologic oncology

Use this document as a decision-making resource to ensure all Canadians who need gynecologic oncology will receive consistent, high-quality care

Released by the Partnership in March 2018, this document provides high-level guidance and discussion on the foundational resources and requirements that need to be in place to improve cancer surgical care and its outcomes.

The document’s actionable recommendations aim to address current gaps and increase the quality of care in Canada for gynecologic cancers. Of course, these standards will need to be tailored according to local health systems.

This document’s introduction outlines the following facts:

  • In 2010, there were 82,885 incident cancer cases in Canadian women and 12 per cent of the cases were reproductive-system cancers.
  • Nine out of 10 reproductive-system cancer cases were uterine, ovarian and cervical cancers.
  • Ovarian cancer caused the most fatalities in 2010, with 9.5 deaths per 100,000 women.
  • Canadian statistics from 2010 indicate that uterine cancer was the most commonly diagnosed reproductive-system cancer with a rate of 30.3 new cases per 100,000 women.
  • The median age of death from cervical cancer has decreased as older women have a better survival rate.

This document includes the following topics:

  • Gynecologic malignancies in general
  • Timely access to care from pre-, peri-, and post-operative care and treatment
  • Training and maintaining competencies for gynecologic oncologists
  • Access to services and equipment (for example, oncology, consultants, allied health)
  • Resources for patients and families (for example, hereditary cancer programs)
  • Quality processes, including multidisciplinary

This document’s target audience is gynecologic oncologists in Canada. Secondary users include Ministries of Health, as well as other physicians and collaborating specialties (for example, anesthesiologists, radiologists, pathologists). Other users, like surgeons from other countries may also benefit from this document.

These standards were informed by environmental scans, a literature review and evidence-informed expert consensus. This document highlights key areas, like the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s (RCPSC) system for evaluating and formally certifying training in gynecologic oncology.

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