Survival statistics for ovarian cancer | Cancer Research UK
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Statistics and outlook for ovarian cancer

Outlook means your chances of getting better. Your doctor may call this your prognosis. The outcome of treatment for cancer of the ovary depends on a number of different factors.

Below, we present further information about the likely outcome of ovarian cancer. There are no national statistics available for different stages of cancer or treatments that people may have received.  For the more complete picture in your case, you’d have to speak to your own specialist.

How reliable are cancer statistics?

No statistics can tell you what will happen to you. The statistics cannot tell you about the different treatments people may have had, or how that treatment may have affected their prognosis. There are many individual factors that will affect your treatment and your outlook.

CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the treating ovarian cancer section.


Ovarian cancer survival

Find out about ovarian cancer survival.

People ask us for this information but not everyone with cancer wants to read it. If you are not sure whether you want to know at the moment, you can always come back to it later.

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

No one can tell you exactly how long you’ll live with ovarian cancer. It depends on your individual situation and treatment. No two patients are exactly alike and response to treatment also varies from one person to another.

Your doctor can give you more information about your own outlook (prognosis). Or you can talk to the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9 to 5, 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. 

Read more about the stages of ovarian cancer


Survival for all stages of ovarian cancer

Generally for all 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. Many people live much longer than 5 years.

The statistics on this page are for relative survival. Relative survival takes into account that some people will die of causes other than cancer. This gives a more accurate picture of cancer survival.


Clinical trials

Taking part in clinical trials can help to improve the outlook for people in the future. If you are interested in taking part in a clinical trial, talk to your cancer specialist. We have information about clinical trials in the trials and research section. And you can search for UK trials for ovarian cancer on our trials database

carboplatin - ovarian cancer


More detailed statistics

Read more about understanding statistics in cancer research and incidence, mortality and survival statistics.

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

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Updated: 31 March 2016