Why it Matters

Ovarian Cancer Statistics

1 out of 79 women will develop ovarian cancer at some time in her life.

Over 70% of all women with ovarian cancer will not be diagnosed until the disease has spread beyond the ovary. This is because the symptoms of early ovarian cancer are often vague and can mimic other common medical problems.

Ovarian cancer is most common in women who have already gone through menopause. The average age for developing ovarian cancer is 63.

For the small number of women who are fortunate enough to have their cancer diagnosed before it has spread beyond the ovary, the chance for cure is 85 to 90%.

For the majority of women in whom the disease has spread beyond the ovary, the chance of living for five years after the diagnosis is between 20 to 25%.  

Finding the Genetic Link

While approximately 90% of ovarian cancers occur by chance, 10% of women with ovarian cancer have inherited genetic changes that predisposed them to the disease. 

Research has successfully identified three hereditary factors that predispose women to ovarian cancer:

  • Spontaneous new mutations in the tumor suppressor genes BRCA1 and BRCA2
  • Susceptibility to HNPCC also known as Lynch Syndrome II—a hereditary disease that puts individuals at greater risk for colorectal cancer, and subsequent risk for ovarian cancer
  • Hereditary mutations in the BRCA1 gene or BRCA2 gene

Global Impact 

Ovarian cancer is the 7th most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in the world. The disease continues to exact a devastating toll on women’s health nationally and internationally.

By the numbers:

  • 230,000 new cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed each year worldwide.
  • 150,000 women die of ovarian cancer each year worldwide.
  • 22,240 women are newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year in the United States.
  • 14,070 American women die each year as a result of ovarian cancer.

Overall Progress:

  • A statistically significant decrease in the Annual Percent Change (APC) of ovarian cancer incidence was observed in the U.S. for all women (-1.03%), among women who were diagnosed at <65 years of age (-1.09%) and among women who were diagnosed at ≥65 years of age (-0.95%).
  • There was a statistically significant increase in the observed APC for survival at 12-months (0.19%), 24-months (0.58%), and 60-months (0.72%) for all women.
  • However, 5-year survival for advanced stage (III or IV) disease was low at less than 50% for women <65 years and less than 30% for women ≥65 years.
  • Global results showed a wide range in ovarian cancer incidence rates, with China exhibiting the lowest rates and the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom exhibiting the highest rates.