Ovarian cancer statistics

Cases

New cases of ovarian cancer, 2013, UK

Deaths

Deaths from ovarian cancer, 2014, UK

Survival

Survive ovarian cancer for 10 or more years, 2010-11, England and Wales

Prevention

Preventable cases of ovarian cancer, UK

  • There were around 7,300 new cases of ovarian cancer in the UK in 2013, that’s 20 cases diagnosed every day.
  • Ovarian cancer is the 15th most common cancer in the UK (2013).
  • Ovarian cancer accounts for 2% of all new cases in the UK (2013).
  • In females in the UK, ovarian cancer is the sixth most common cancer, with around 7,300 cases diagnosed in 2013.
  • More than half (53%) of ovarian cancer cases in the UK each year are diagnosed in females aged 65 and over (2011-2013).
  • Since the late 1970s, ovarian cancer incidence rates in females have increased by less than a fifth (17%) in Great Britain.
  • Over the last decade, ovarian cancer incidence rates in females have decreased by less than a tenth (6%) in the UK.
  • Most ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed at a late stage.
  • 1 in 52 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer during their lifetime.
  • 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 in England is not associated with deprivation.
  • Ovarian cancer is more common in White women than Asian or Black women.
  • In the UK around 25,100 women were still alive at the end of 2006, up to ten years after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

See more in-depth ovarian cancer incidence statistics

  • There were around 4,100 ovarian cancer deaths in the UK in 2014, that’s 11 deaths every day.
  • Ovarian cancer is the 14th most common cause of cancer death in the UK (2014).
  • Ovarian cancer accounts for 5% of all cancer deaths in females in the UK (2014).
  • In females in the UK, ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death, with around 4,100 deaths in 2014.
  • More than 4 in 10 (43%) ovarian cancer deaths in the UK each year are in females aged 75 and over (2012-2014).
  • Mortality rates for ovarian cancer in the UK are highest in females aged 85-89 (2012-2014).
  • Ovarian cancer in England is not associated with deprivation.
  • 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.

Read more in-depth ovarian cancer mortality statistics

  • More than a third (35%) of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for ten years or more (2010-11).
  • Almost half (46%) of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for five years or more (2010-11).
  • Almost three-quarters (73%) of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for one year or more (2010-11).
  • Ovarian cancer survival in England is highest for women diagnosed aged under 40 years old (2009-2013).
  • Almost 9 in 10 women in England diagnosed with ovarian cancer aged 15-39 survive their disease for five years or more, compared with a fifth of women diagnosed aged 80 and over (2009-2013).
  • Ovarian cancer survival is improving and has almost doubled in the last 40 years in the UK.
  • In the 1970s, less than a fifth of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer survived their disease beyond ten years, now it's more than a third.
  • When diagnosed at its earliest stage, 9 in 10 women with ovarian cancer will survive their disease for five years or more, compared with less than 5 in 100 of women when diagnosed at the latest stage.

See more in-depth ovarian cancer survival statistics

  • A person’s risk of developing cancer depends on many factors, including age, genetics, and exposure to risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors).
  • 21% of ovarian cancer cases each year in the UK are linked to major lifestyle and other risk 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.

See more in-depth ovarian cancer risk factors

  • 'Two-week wait' is the most common route to diagnosing ovarian cancer.
  • GP referral is the route with the highest proportion of cases diagnosed at an early stage, for ovarian cancer.
  • 'Two-week wait’ standards are met by all countries, ‘31-day wait’ is met by all but Northern Ireland and Wales, and ’62-day wait’ is met by all but Wales, Northern Ireland and only partly by Scotland for gynaecological cancers.
  • Around 6 in 10 ovarian cancer patients receive major surgical resection as part of their cancer treatment.
  • Almost 9 in 10 patients had a ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ patient experience.
  • 9 in 10 patients are given the name of their Clinical Nurse Specialist.

See more in-depth ovarian cancer diagnosis and treatment statistics

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The latest statistics available for ovarian cancer in the UK are; incidence 2013, mortality 2014 and survival 2010-2011 (all ages combined) and 2009-2013 (by age).

The ICD codes Open a glossary item for ovarian cancer are ICD-10 C56-C57.4 which includes cancer of the ovary (C56) and other and unspecified female genital organs (C57-C57.4).

The ICD codes Open a glossary item for ovarian cancer survival are ICD-10 C56 and C57.0-C57.7.

European Age-Standardised Rates were calculated using the 1976 European Standard Population (ESP) unless otherwise stated as calculated with ESP2013. ASRs calculated with ESP2013 are not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

Lifetime risk estimates were calculated using incidence, mortality, population and all-cause mortality data for 2012.

Survival statistics give an overall picture of survival and (unless otherwise stated) include all adults (15-99) diagnosed, at all ages, stages Open a glossary item and co-morbidities Open a glossary item. The survival time experienced by an individual patient may be much higher or lower, depending on specific patient and tumour characteristics.

Stage at diagnosis data is not yet routinely available for the UK due to inconsistencies in the collecting and recording of staging data in the past.

Meta-analyses Open a glossary item and systematic reviews Open a glossary item are cited where available, as they provide the best overview of all available research and most take study quality into account. Individual case-control and cohort studies Open a glossary item are reported where such aggregated data are lacking.

Routes to diagnosis statistics were calculated from cases of cancer registered in England which were diagnosed in 2012-2013. Staging proportions only include patients with a known stage (cases with an unknown stage at diagnosis are not included in the denominator).

Cancer waiting times statistics are for patients who entered the health care system within financial year 2014-15. Ovarian cancer is part of the group 'Gynaecological cancer' for cancer waiting times data. Codes vary per country but broadly include: Vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, ovary, other female genital organs, placenta and secondary cancers of ovary.

Cancer surgical resection rates data is for patients diagnosed in England between 2006 and 2010.

Patient Experience data is for adult patients in England with a primary diagnosis of cancer, who were in active treatment between September and November 2013 and who completed a survey in 2014.

Deprivation gradient statistics were calculated using incidence data for three time periods: 1996-2000, 2001-2005 and 2006-2010 and for mortality for two time periods: 2002-2006 and 2007-2011. The 1997-2001 mortality data were only used for the all cancers combined group as this time period includes the change in coding from ICD-9 to ICD-10. The deprivation quintiles were calculated using the Income domain scores from the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) from the following years: 2004, 2007 and 2010. Full details on the data and methodology can be found in the Cancer by Deprivation in England NCIN report.

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Acknowledgements

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.

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