Women and Ovarian Cancer

Women and Ovarian Cancer
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Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer in women1,2 but ranks fifth in terms of mortality.2 This is partly because many women with early stages of ovarian cancer have no symptoms.


Statistics show that two-thirds of all women with ovarian cancer have advanced disease at the time of diagnosis.3 Less than 50% of women survive longer than five years after being diagnosed.3

  •  Each year, 240,000 women are diagnosed worldwide with ovarian cancer, and 125,000 women will die from this disease. 4
  • In 2009, ovarian cancer resulted in an economic burden of $4.9 billion.4
  • By 2020, there will be more than 303,000 new cases of ovarian cancer annually.4


Ovarian cancer forms in the tissue of the ovary. Most ovarian cancers manifest as either ovarian epithelial carcinomas, which originate in the cells on the surface of the ovary, or malignant germ cell tumors that begin in the oocytes.5


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1Website [Internet]. [cited 2013 Apr 17] Available from: http://www.wcrf.org/cancer_statistics/world_cancer_statistics.php

2Website [Internet]. [cited 2013 Apr 17] Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/ovarian/

3SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Ovary [Internet]. [cited 2013 Apr 17] Available from: http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/ovary.html

4Breakaway: The global burden of cancer-challenges and opportunities. Economist Intelligence Unit Limited. 2009.

5Website [Internet]. [cited 2013 Mar 29] Available from: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/ovarian/