Clinical practice guidelines for gynecologic oncology were developed under the direction of the Medical Practice and Ethics Committee of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (SGO) in concert with national trends in medical care in the United States. The members of this committee are listed in Table 1, along with other individuals who contributed to the development of the guidelines. The guidelines, which were distributed in booklet form to the SGO membership in 1996, are being reprinted in this and successive issues of oncology for distribution to the oncology community at large.
In developing the SGO clinical practice guidelines, no attempt was made to be all-inclusive or to cover all aspects of the discipline of gynecologic oncology. The outline chosen by the committee was followed for each organ site neoplasm and prepared in a succinct manner with appropriate references that hopefully will be useful in 1997.
The information in these clinical practice guidelines should not be viewed as a body of rigid rules. The guidelines are general and intended to be adapted to many different situations, taking into account the needs and resources particular to the locality, the institution, or the type of practice. Variations and innovations that improve the quality of patient care are to be encouraged rather than restricted. The purpose of these guidelines will be well served if they provide a firm basis on which local norms may be built.
It is anticipated that these practice guidelines will be revised and updated frequently by the SGO as progress is made in the field of gynecologic cancer.
This issue contains the SGO practice guidelines on uterine sarcomas, fallopian tube cancer, and vulvar cancer. Guidelines on endometrial, ovarian, and cervical cancers were published in the January issue, while guidelines on vaginal cancer and gestational trophoblastic disease will appear in the March issue.
Society of Gynecologic Oncologists Medical Practice and Ethics Committee