- Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer among women in the United States
- Ovarian cancer occurs in 1 in 55 women, at any age, but usually over age 50. Around two-thirds of women with ovarian cancer are 55 or older. The median age at diagnosis for ovarian cancer was 63 years.
- Approximately 20,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year. In 2008, it is estimated that 21,650 women in the United States will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 15,520 women will die from the disease.
- Approximately 174,236 women living in the United States currently have ovarian cancer or have a history of ovarian cancer.
- Ovarian cancer is the 5th leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women.
- Lifetime risks:
- One in 72 women will develop ovarian cancer (lifetime risk).
- One in 95 women will die from ovarian cancer.
- A woman’s lifetime risk of developing ovarian cancer is 1.4 percent.
- A woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer and dying from it is 1.05 percent.
- Ovarian cancer has the highest mortality rate of all gynecologic cancers.
- The overall five-year relative survival rate for all women with ovarian cancer is 46 percent.
- The survival rate improves greatly to 93 percent if the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage before it has spread. Only 19 percent of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed at this local stage.
- Approximately 75 percent of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage after the cancer has spread beyond the ovary because the symptoms of ovarian cancer are vague or "silent" and reliable screening tests are not yet available.
- The five-year survival rate for women with ovarian cancer has not significantly increased in the past 30 years—a mere 8 percent.
- Despite aggressive surgical intervention and new chemotherapeutic regimens, the overall 5-year survival rate for women with advanced stage ovarian cancer has remained constant over the past 30 years, at approximately 15%.
- African American women, who have much lower ovarian cancer incidence rates than Caucasian women, are less likely than their Caucasian counterparts to survive five or more years with this disease, regardless of the stage at diagnosis.
- African American women are more commonly diagnosed with widespread, and therefore advanced stage, ovarian masses than Caucasian women.
- African American, Hawaiian, and Alaskan native women have overall cancer mortality rates that are at least 40% higher than other minority populations.