Ovarian cancer statistics

Cases

New cases of ovarian cancer, 2012, UK

Deaths

Deaths from ovarian cancer, 2012, UK

Survival

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

Prevention

Preventable cases of ovarian cancer, UK

  • Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer in females in the UK and it is the second most common gynaecological cancer accounting for 35% of all gynaecological cancers.
  • There were around 7,000 new cases of ovarian cancer in the UK in 2012, that’s around 19 women every day.
  • Ovarian cancer is the 15th most common cancer in the UK (2012).
  • Ovarian cancer accounts for 2% of all new cases in the UK (2012).
  • More than a quarter (28%) of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed in women aged 75 and over.
  • Since the late-1970s, ovarian cancer incidence rates have increased by more than a tenth (14%) in Great Britain.
  • Most ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed at a late stage.
  • Over the last decade, ovarian cancer incidence rates have decreased by a tenth (10%) in the UK.
  • 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.
  • 1 in 52 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer during their lifetime.

  • 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.

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 is highest for women diagnosed aged under 40 years old.
  • Almost 9 in 10 women diagnosed aged 15-39 survive their disease for five years or more, compared with less than a fifth of women diagnosed aged 80 and over.
  • 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.

Read more in-depth ovarian cancer survival statistics

  • 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.

Read more in-depth ovarian cancer risk factors information

  • Emergency presentation is the most common route to diagnosis of 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.

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.

The latest statistics available for ovarian cancer in the UK are; incidence 2012, mortality 2012 and survival 2010-2011.

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 2006-2010.

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.

Citation

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. 

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.

Rate this page:

Currently rated: 3.7 out of 5 based on 3 votes
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think

Share this page