Want the key stats in the sections on this page as a document? or looking for a stats report of the in-depth stats? Use the print function at the bottom of any Cancer Stats page Share this page > Print or your browser options to print or save.
Ovarian cancer statistics
New cases of ovarian cancer, 2014, UK
Deaths from ovarian cancer, 2014, UK
Survive ovarian cancer for 10 or more years, 2010-11, England and Wales
Preventable cases of ovarian cancer, UK
- There were around 7,400 new cases of ovarian cancer in the UK in 2014, that’s 20 cases diagnosed every day.
- Ovarian cancer is the 15th most common cancer in the UK (2014).
- Ovarian cancer accounts for 2% of all new cases in the UK (2014).
- In females in the UK, ovarian cancer is the sixth most common cancer, with around 7,400 cases diagnosed in 2014.
- More than half (53%) of ovarian cancer cases in the UK each year are diagnosed in females aged 65 and over (2012-2014).
- Incidence rates for ovarian cancer in the UK are highest in females aged 75-79 (2012-2014).
- Since the early 1990s, ovarian cancer incidence rates in females have remained stable in the UK.
- Over the last decade, ovarian cancer incidence rates in females have decreased by less than a tenth (4%) in the UK.
- Almost 6 in 10 ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed at a late stage in England (2014) and Northern Ireland (2010-2014).
- Incidence rates for ovarian cancer are projected to rise by 15% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 32 cases per 100,000 females by 2035.
- 1 in 52 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer during their lifetime.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Since the early 1970s, ovarian cancer mortality rates in females have decreased by less than a fifth (17%) in the UK.
- Over the last decade, ovarian cancer mortality rates in females have decreased by less than a fifth (16%) in the UK.
- Mortality rates for ovarian cancer are projected to fall by 37% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 10 deaths per 100,000 females by 2035.
- 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.
- 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.
- Five-year relative survival for ovarian cancer in women is below the European average in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
- 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.
- '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.
The latest statistics available for ovarian cancer in the UK are; incidence 2014, mortality 2014 and survival 2010-2011 (all ages combined) and 2009-2013 (by age).
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,
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.
You are welcome to reuse this Cancer Research UK statistics content for your own work.
Credit us as authors by referencing Cancer Research UK as the primary source. Suggested styles are:
Web content: Cancer Research UK, full URL of the page, Accessed [month] [year].
Publications: Cancer Research UK ([year of publication]), Name of publication, Cancer Research UK.
Graphics (when reused unaltered): Credit: Cancer Research UK.
Graphics (when recreated with differences): Based on a graphic created by Cancer Research UK.
When Cancer Research UK material is used for commercial reasons, we encourage a donation to our life-saving research.
Send a cheque payable to Cancer Research UK to: Cancer Research UK, Angel Building, 407 St John Street, London, EC1V 4AD or