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Ovarian cancer survival statistics

One-, five- and ten-year survival statistics for ovarian cancer by age and trends over time are presented here. There are also data by stage at diagnosis and geography.

Find out more about the counting and coding of this data.

One-, five- and ten-year survival

72% of women survive ovarian cancer for at least one year, and this is predicted to fall to 46% surviving for five years or more, as shown by age-standardised net survival for patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer during 2010-2011 in England and Wales (Table 3.1).1

Table 3.1: Ovarian Cancer (C56 and C57.0-C57.7), Age-Standardised One-, Five- and Ten-Year Net Survival, Women (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 2010-2011

1-Year Survival (%) 5-Year Survival (%) 10-Year Survival (%)
Women Net Survival 72.4 46.2 34.5
95% LCL 72.4 45.9 33.8
95% UCL 72.5 46.4 35.3

Download this table XLS (31KB) PPT (123KB) PDF (18KB)

95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and upper confidence limits
Five- and ten-year survival is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model

Ovarian cancer survival continues to fall beyond five years after diagnosis. 35% of women are predicted to survive their disease for ten years or more, as shown by age-standardised net survival for patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer during 2010-2011 in England and Wales (Figure 3.1).1 Out of 20 common cancers in England and Wales, ten-year survival for ovarian cancer ranks 7th lowest (both overall and for females only).

Figure 3.1: Ovarian Cancer (C56 and C57.0-C57.7), Net Survival up to Ten Years after Diagnosis, Women (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 2010-2011

surv_curve_ovary.swf

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Survival for ovarian cancer is reported in Scotland and Northern Ireland,2,3 though it is difficult to make survival comparisons between countries due to different methodologies and criteria for including patients in analyses.

section reviewed 08/12/14
section updated 08/12/14

By age

Five-year survival for ovarian cancer is highest in the youngest women and decreases with increasing age. Five-year net survival ranges from 87% in 15-39 year-olds to 17% in 80-99 year-olds for patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer in England during 2007-2011 (Figure 3.2).4

Figure 3.2: Ovarian Cancer (C56 and C57.0-C57.7), Five-Year Net Survival by Age, England, 2007-2011

surv_5yr_age_ovary.swf

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section reviewed 08/12/14
section updated 08/12/14

Trends over time

As with most cancers, survival for ovarian cancer is improving. One-year age-standardised net survival has increased from 44% during 1971-1972 to 72% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference of 29 percentage points (Figure 3.3).1 Much of this increase can be attributed to the greater use of platinum-based chemotherapy.5

Figure 3.3: Ovarian Cancer (C56 and C57.0-C57.7), Age-Standardised One-Year Net Survival, Women (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

surv_1yr_ovary.swf

Download this chart XLS (45KB) PPT (126KB) PDF (44KB)

Five-year age-standardised net survival for ovarian cancer has increased from 21% during 1971-1972 to a predicted survival of 46% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference of 26 percentage points (Figure 3.4).1 Wider access to optimal primary treatment and greater determination to treat recurrent disease is likely to have contributed to the increase.5

Figure 3.4: Ovarian Cancer (C56 and C57.0-C57.7), Age-Standardised Five-Year Net Survival, Women (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

surv_5yr_ovary.swf

Download this chart XLS (45KB) PPT (126KB) PDF (44KB)

Five-year survival for 2010-2011 is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model

Ten-year survival has increased by a lesser amount than one- and five-year survival since the early 1970s. Ten-year age-standardised net survival for ovarian cancer has increased from 18% during 1971-1972 to a predicted survival of 35% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference of 16 percentage points (Figure 3.5).1 Overall, more than a third of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer today are predicted to survive their disease for at least ten years.

Figure 3.5: Ovarian Cancer (C56 and C57.0-C57.7), Age-Standardised Ten-Year Net Survival, Women (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

surv_10yr_ovary.swf

Download this chart XLS (44KB) PPT (125KB) PDF (44KB)

Ten-year survival for 2005-2006 and 2010-2011 is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model

section reviewed 08/12/14
section updated 08/12/14

By stage at diagnosis

Survival for ovarian cancer is related to stage of the disease at diagnosis. More patients are diagnosed at Stages III or IV than at Stages I or II.

One-year relative survival for ovarian cancer (excluding other and unspecified female genital organs [C56 only]) is highest at Stage I, with 98% of patients surviving their disease for at least one year for patients diagnosed during 2006-2010 in the former Anglia Cancer Network (Figure 3.6).6 One-year survival is lowest for those diagnosed with Stage IV disease (41%).

Figure 3.6 Ovarian Cancer (C56), One-Year Relative Survival by Stage, Women (Aged 15-99 Years), Former Anglia Cancer Network, 2006-2010

surv_1yr_stage_w_ovary.swf

Download this chart XLS (46KB) PPT (127KB) PDF (48KB)

Five-year survival for ovarian cancer shows a much more rapid decrease in survival between Stages I and IV.  Five-year relative survival ranges from 90% at Stage I to 4% at Stage IV for patients diagnosed during 2002-2006 in the former Anglia Cancer Network (Figure 3.7).6
 

Figure 3.7 Ovarian Cancer (C56), Five-Year Relative Survival by Stage, Women (Aged 15-99 Years), Former Anglia Cancer Network, 2002-2006

surv_5yr_stage_w_ovary.swf

Download this chart XLS (45KB) PPT (127KB) PDF (48KB)

section reviewed 08/12/14
section updated 08/12/14

In Europe and worldwide

When UK survival figures for ovarian cancer are compared with those of other countries, including Australia, Canada, Norway, and Sweden, they are significantly worse. Differences in data quality and coding practices across Europe may contribute to some of the variation, but the consistently lower levels for UK countries suggest real differences in survival. More detailed studies to investigate the factors underlying these differences within Europe are being undertaken.7,8,9,10 It has been estimated that if survival from ovarian cancer in Britain equalled the best in Europe, then almost 2,400 deaths could be avoided within five years of diagnosis.11

section reviewed 20/06/12
section updated 20/06/12

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References for ovarian cancer survival

  1. Cancer Research UK Cancer Survival Group, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Personal communication, 2014.
  2. ISD Scotland. Trends in Cancer Survival 1983-2007.
  3. Northern Ireland Cancer Registry. Incidence & Survival 1993-2012.
  4. Office for National Statistics. Statistical Bulletin: Cancer survival in England: Patients diagnosed 2007-2011 and followed up to 2012. Newport: ONS; 2013.
  5. Kitchener HC. Survival from cancer of the ovary in England and Wales up to 2001. Br J Cancer 2008;99 Suppl 1:S73-4.
  6. The National Cancer Registration Service, Eastern Office. Personal communication.
  7. Berrino F, De Angelis R, Sant M, et al. Survival for eight major cancers and all cancers combined for European adults diagnosed in 1995-99: results of the EUROCARE-4 study. Lancet Oncol 2007;8:773-83.
  8. Sant M, Allemani C, Santaquilani M, et al. EUROCARE-4. Survival of cancer patients diagnosed in 1995-1999. Results and commentary. Eur J Cancer 2009;45:931-91.
  9. Thomson CS, Forman D. Cancer survival in England and the influence of early diagnosis: what can we learn from recent EUROCARE results? Br J Cancer 2009;101:S102-S9.
  10. Coleman M, Forman D, Bryant H, et al. Cancer survival in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and the UK, 1995-2007 (the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership): an analysis of population-based cancer registry data. Lancet 2011 8;377(9760):99-101.
  11. Abdel-Rahman M, Stockton D, Rachet B, et al. What if cancer survival in Britain were the same as in Europe: how many deaths are avoidable? Br J Cancer 2009;101:S115-S24.
Updated: 8 December 2014