Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is a disease in which cancer cells are found in the ovaries. In addition to forming in the ovary, cancers that form in the nearby fallopian tube or in the peritoneum (the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity) and spread to the ovary are often considered ovarian cancer, therefore following the same course of treatment. Most ovarian cancers form after menopause, with over half being found in women of 63 years of age or older.1

The number of new cases of ovarian cancer has been slowly decreasing every year since the mid-1980s. New diagnoses of ovarian cancer make up about 3% of new cancer cases in American women. It is estimated that about 22,000 and 46,000 women in the United States and Europe, respectively, will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year, and about 1.3% of women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer at some point during their lifetime.1,2

More than 14,000 and 32,000 women are estimated to die of ovarian cancer this year in the United States and Europe, respectively, making this disease the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women. The relative 5-year survival rate for women with ovarian cancer is around 47%. For patients with ovarian tumours of stage I, II, or III, without tumours that have spread to the lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 92%. For patients with stage III tumours that have spread to the nearby lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 75%. For patients with ovarian tumours that have spread to more distant parts of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 30%.1,2

Two or more different types of treatment are most commonly used to treat ovarian cancer. Surgery is the primary treatment for ovarian cancer and is used to both correctly evaluate the cancer and to remove as much of the cancerous material as possible. Other treatments include the use of one or more chemotherapeutic agents, targeted therapy, which unlike traditional chemotherapy, specifically targets cancer cells, and radiation therapy. Additionally, for ovarian stromal tumours, hormone therapy may be used.1

  1. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovariancancer/
  2. https://ecis.jrc.ec.europa.eu/