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Survival

Find out about survival for ovarian cancer.

Survival depends on many different factors. It depends on your individual condition, type of cancer, treatment and level of fitness. So no one can tell you exactly how long you will live. 

These are general statistics based on large groups of patients. Remember, they can’t tell you what will happen in your individual case.

Your doctor can give you more information about your own outlook (prognosis).

You can also talk about this with the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Survival by stage

There are no UK-wide statistics available for ovarian cancer survival by stage.
Survival statistics are available for each stage of ovarian cancer in one area of England. These are for women diagnosed between 2002 and 2006.

Stage 1

About 90 out of 100 (about 90%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed. 

Stage 2

More than 40 out of 100 (more than 40%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after being diagnosed.

Stage 3

Almost 20 out of every 100 women (almost 20%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

Stage 4

Around 5 out of every 100 women (around 5%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed. 

Survival for all stages of ovarian cancer

For women with ovarian cancer in England and Wales:

  • more than 70 out of every 100 women (more than 70%) will survive their cancer for 1 year or more after they are diagnosed
  • almost 50 out of every 100 women (almost 50%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more
  • 35 out of every 100 women (35%) will survive their cancer for 10 years or more 

What affects survival

Your outcome depends on the stage of the cancer when it was diagnosed. This means how big it is and whether it has spread. 

The type and grade of ovarian cancer affects your likely survival. Grade means how abnormal the cells look under the microscope. 

Your likely survival is also affected by whether the surgeon can remove all the tumour during initial surgery.

Your general health and fitness may also affect survival. Doctors have a way of grading how well you are. This is called performance status. Women who have a good performance status have a better outlook.

Age also affects outcome and survival is better for younger women.

About these statistics

The term 5 year survival doesn't mean you will only live for 5 years. It relates to the number of people who live 5 years or more after their diagnosis of cancer.

More statistics

For more in-depth information about survival and other statistics for ovarian cancer, go to our Cancer Statistics section.

Last reviewed: 
08 Oct 2016
  • Statistics provided by the Statistical Information Team at Cancer Research UK.

  • Cancer and its management (7th edition)
    J Tobias and D Hochhauser
    Wiley-Blackwell, 2015

  • Treatment of cancer (6th edition)
    K Sikora and P. Price (editors)
    CRC Press, 2015

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