- Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer in females in the UK and it is the second most common gynaecological cancer after uterus.
- In 2011, there were around 7,100 new cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed in the UK, that is 19 women every day.
- Ovarian cancer becomes more common with increasing age. Three quarters of new ovarian cancer cases in the UK are diagnosed in women aged 55 and over.
- Since the mid-1970s, the incidence of ovarian cancer in females aged 15-39 has increased by 56%.
- In Europe, around 65,600 new cases of ovarian cancer were estimated to have been diagnosed in 2012. The UK incidence rate is ninth highest in Europe.
- Worldwide, nearly 239,000 women were estimated to have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012, with incidence rates varying across the world.
Ovarian cancer statistics
New cases of ovarian cancer, 2011, UK
Deaths from ovarian cancer, 2012, UK
Survive ovarian cancer for 10 or more years, 2010-11, England and Wales
Preventable cases of ovarian cancer, UK
- Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in women in the UK and the most common cause of gynaecological cancer death.
- In 2012, around 4,300 women in the UK died of ovarian cancer, that's nearly 12 every day.
- Ovarian cancer mortality has decreased in women aged under 70 over the last thirty years, but has increased in women aged 70 and over.
- In Europe, around 42,700 women were estimated to have died from ovarian cancer in 2012. The UK mortality rate is 16th highest in Europe.
- Worldwide, around 152,000 women were estimated to have died from ovarian cancer in 2012, with mortality rates varying across the world.
- More than a third of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer will survive their disease for at least ten years.
- Ten-year survival from ovarian cancer has almost doubled over the last forty years.
- Ovarian cancer survival is highest in younger women, who are more often diagnosed with early cancer.
- Out of 20 common cancers in England and Wales, survival for ovarian cancer ranks 14th highest.
- More than 90% of women diagnosed with the earliest stage ovarian cancer survive their disease for at least five years. This figure is around 5% for those women diagnosed with the most advanced stage disease.
- 21% of ovarian cancer cases each year in the UK are linked to major lifestyle and other risk factors.
- A woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer depends on many factors, including age,genetics, and exposure to risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors).
- Factors which reduce lifetime number of (and breaks between) ovulations and/or reduce sex hormone levels may relate to lower ovarian cancer risk.
- Oral contraceptives protect against ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding may protect against ovarian cancer – women breastfeeding each of their children for less than 6 months is linked to an estimated 18% of ovarian cancer cases in the UK.
- An estimated 21% of ovarian cancers in the UK are linked to lifestyle factors including smoking (3%), some types of hormone replacement therapy (1%), and certain occupational exposures (under 1%).
- Talcum powder use in the genital area, ionising radiation, being taller, overweight and obesity, and certain medical conditions, may relate to higher ovarian cancer risk, but evidence is unclear.
The latest statistics available for ovarian cancer in the UK are; incidence 2011, mortality 2012 and survival 2010-2011.
Survival statistics give an overall picture of survival and (unless otherwise stated) include all adults (15-99) diagnosed, at all ages,
Survival by stage is not yet routinely available for the UK due to inconsistencies in the collecting and recording of staging data in the past. Survival by stage is available for the former Anglia Cancer Network in the east of England, however. The former Anglia Cancer Network covers around 5% of the population of England and may not be representative of the country as a whole due to differences in underlying demographic factors (such as age, deprivation or ethnicity), as well as variation in local healthcare provision standards and policies.
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We would like to acknowledge the essential work of the cancer registries in the United Kingdom and Ireland Association of Cancer Registries, without which there would be no data.