Ovarian cancer incidence statistics

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Cases

New cases of ovarian cancer, 2015-2017, UK

Proportion of all cases

Percentage ovarian cancer is of total cancer cases, 2015-2017, UK

 

Age

Peak rate of ovarian cancer cases, 2015-2017, UK

 

Trend over time

Ovarian cancer incidence rates have remained stable since the early 1990s, Females, UK

 

Ovarian cancer is the 6th most common cancer in females in the UK, accounting for 4% of all new cancer cases in females (2017).

In females and males combined, ovarian cancer is the 16th most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 2% of all new cancer cases (2017).[1-4]

Ovarian cancer incidence rates (European age-standardised (AS) rates) are similar to the UK average in all the UK constituent countries.

Ovarian Cancer (C56-C57.4), Number of New Cases, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, Females, UK, 2017

  England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland UK
Female Cases 6,124 623 371 191 7,309
Crude Rate 21.8 22.4 23.4 20.1 21.8
AS Rate 22.3 21.8 22.3 21.7 22.2
AS Rate - 95% LCL 21.7 20.1 20.1 18.6 21.7
AS Rate - 95% UCL 22.8 23.5 24.6 24.8 22.7
Persons Cases 6,124 623 371 191 7,309
Crude Rate 11.0 11.5 11.9 10.2 11.1
AS Rate 11.7 11.7 11.7 11.5 11.7
AS Rate - 95% LCL 11.4 10.8 10.5 9.9 11.4
AS Rate - 95% UCL 12.0 12.6 12.9 13.1 12.0

95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and upper confidence limits Open a glossary item  around the AS Rate Open a glossary item

References

  1. Data were provided by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (part of Public Health England), on request through the Office for Data Release, November 2019. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/cancerregistrationstatisticsengland/previousReleases
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications.
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales on request, December 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, May 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2017, ICD-10 C56-C57.4.

Last reviewed:

Ovarian cancer incidence is strongly related to age, with the highest incidence rates being in older women.

In the UK in 2015-2017, on average each year more than a quarter (28%) of new cases were in females aged 75 and over.[1-4]

Age-specific incidence rates rise steadily from around age 15-19 and more steeply from around age 35-39, with a sharp drop in the oldest age groups.The highest rates are in in the 75 to 79 age group.

Ovarian cancer (C56-C57.4), Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates per 100,000 Females, UK, 2015-2017

For ovarian cancer, like most cancer types, incidence increases with age. This largely reflects cell DNA damage accumulating over time. Damage can result from biological processes or from exposure to risk factors. A drop or plateau in incidence in the oldest age groups often indicates reduced diagnostic activity perhaps due to general ill health.

References

  1. Data were provided by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (part of Public Health England), on request through the Office for Data Release, November 2019. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/cancerregistrationstatisticsengland/previousReleases
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications.
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales on request, December 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, May 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2015-2017, C56-C57.4.

Last reviewed:

Ovarian cancer European age-standardised (AS) incidence rates for females remained stable in the UK between 1993-1995 and 2015-2017.[1-4].

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2005-2007 and 2015-2017), ovarian cancer AS incidence rates for females decreased by 5%.[1-4]

Ovarian Cancer (ICD-10 C56-C57.4), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, Females, UK, 1993-2017

Ovarian cancer incidence rates have increased overall in some broad age groups in females in the UK since the early 1990s, but have decreased in others.[1-4] Rates in 0-24s have increased by 77%, in 25-49s have increased by 10%, in 50-59s have decreased by 17%, in 60-69s have decreased by 14%, in 70-79s have increased by 8%, and in 80+s have increased by 9%.

Ovarian Cancer (ICD-10 C56-C57.4), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, By Age, Females, UK, 1993-2017

For ovarian cancer, like most cancer types, incidence trends largely reflect changing prevalence of risk factors and improvements in diagnosis and data recording. Recent incidence trends are influenced by risk factor prevalence in years past, and trends by age group reflect risk factor exposure in birth cohorts.

References

  1. Data were provided by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (part of Public Health England), on request through the Office for Data Release, November 2019. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/cancerregistrationstatisticsengland/previousReleases
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications.
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales on request, December 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, May 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 1993-2017, ICD-10 C56-C57.4.

Last reviewed:

Overall stage at diagnosis

A high proportion (85-88%) of ovarian cancer cases in England and Northern Ireland have stage at diagnosis recorded.[1,2]

More females with a known stage are diagnosed at a late stage (55-58% are diagnosed at stage III or IV), than an early stage (42-45% are diagnosed at stage I or II). Between 17% and 21% of females have metastases at diagnosis (stage IV).[1,2]

The stage distribution for each cancer type will reflect many factors including how the cancer type develops, the way symptoms appear, public awareness of symptoms, how quickly a person goes to see their doctor and how quickly the cancer is recognised and diagnosed by a doctor. It might also relate to whether a national screening programme that can detect early stage disease exists for that cancer type, along with the extent of uptake of that programme.

A cancer type associated with a large proportion of early stage diagnoses could be one that is more likely to be symptomatic at an earlier stage of development, with recognisable symptoms rather than more generic ones.

Ovarian Cancer (C56), Proportion of Cases Diagnosed at Each Stage, All Ages, England 2014 and Northern Ireland 2010-2014

Data should not be compared between countries due to differences in time periods and possible differences in recording of stage at diagnosis.
 

Stage at diagnosis by deprivation

Late stage at diagnosis of ovarian cancer is not associated with deprivation in England.[3]

Stage at diagnosis by age

Late stage at diagnosis of ovarian cancer is more common in women aged 80+ in England (77% diagnosed at stage III or IV), compared to those aged 60-79 (66% diagnosed at stage III or IV) and compared to younger women aged 15-59 (39% diagnosed at stage III or IV).[3]

Late stage ovarian cancer is also more common in women aged 60-79 in England (66% diagnosed at stage III or IV) versus those aged 15-59 (39% diagnosed at stage III or IV).[3]

These patterns by deprivation, age and sex are probably not explained by other demographic differences.[4]

References

  1. National Cancer Intelligence Network. Stage Breakdown by CCG 2014. London: NCIN; 2016.
  2. Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, Queens University Belfast, Incidence by stage 2010-2014. Belfast: NICR; 2016.
  3. National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service. Routes to diagnosis of cancer by stage 2012-2013 workbook. London: NCRAS; 2016.
  4. Lyratzopoulos G, Abel G, Brown C, et al. Socio-demographic inequalities in stage of cancer diagnosis: evidence from patients with female breast, lung, colon, rectal, prostate, renal, bladder, melanoma, ovarian and endometrial cancer. Annals of Oncology, 2012:843-50.

About this data

Data is for:  England 2014, Northern Ireland 2010-2014, ICD-10 C56 (overall stage at diagnosis) and England, 2012-2013, ICD-10 C56-C57 (stage at diagnosis by deprivation, age, sex, and ethnicity)

Data is not comparable between countries due to differences in time periods and possible differences in how countries record stage at diagnosis.

The proportions of patients diagnosed late only include cases with a known stage at diagnosis and are not adjusted for other demographics differences (e.g. age, sex, ethnicity) unless stated otherwise.

Last reviewed:

Ovarian cancer incidence rates are projected to rise by 15% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 32 cases per 100,000 females by 2035.[1]

Ovarian cancer (C56-C57.4), Observed and Projected Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, by Sex, UK, 1979-2035

It is projected that 10,501 cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in the UK in 2035.

References

  1. Smittenaar CR, Petersen KA, Stewart K, Moitt N. Cancer Incidence and Mortality Projections in the UK Until 2035. Brit J Cancer 2016.

About this data

Data is for: UK, 1979-2014 (observed), 2015-2035 (projected), ICD-10 C56-C57.4

Projections are based on observed incidence and mortality rates and therefore implicitly include changes in cancer risk factors, diagnosis and treatment. It is not possible to assess the statistical significance of changes between 2014 (observed) and 2035 (projected) figures. Confidence intervals are not calculated for the projected figures. Projections are by their nature uncertain because unexpected events in future could change the trend. It is not sensible to calculate a boundary of uncertainty around these already uncertain point estimates. Changes are described as 'increase' or 'decrease' if there is any difference between the point estimates.

More on projections methodology

Last reviewed:

Ovarian cancer incidence rates (European age-standardised (AS) rates Open a glossary item) in England in females are similar in the most deprived quintile compared with the least (2013-2017).[1]

References

  1. Calculated by the Cancer Intelligence Team at Cancer Research UK, April 2020. Based on method reported in National Cancer Intelligence Network Cancer by Deprivation in England Incidence, 1996-2010 Mortality, 1997-2011 . Using cancer incidence data 2013-2017 (Public Health England) and population data 2013-2017 (Office for National Statistics) by Indices of Multiple Deprivation 2015 income domain quintile, cancer type, sex, and five-year age band.

About this data

Data is for England, 2013-2017, ICD-10 C56-C57.4.

Last reviewed:

Age-standardised Open a glossary item rates for White females with ovarian cancer (ICD-10 C56 only) range from 17.4 to 18.1 per 100,000. Rates for Asian females are significantly lower, ranging from 9.2 to 15.5 per 100,000 and the rates for Black females are also significantly lower, ranging from 6.6 to 12.1 per 100,000.[1]

Ranges are given because of the analysis methodology used to account for missing and unknown data. For ovarian cancer, 28,023 cases were identified; 22% had no known ethnicity.

References

  1. National Cancer Intelligence Network and Cancer Research UK. Cancer Incidence and Survival by Major Ethnic Group, England, 2002-2006. 2009.

About this data

Data is for: England, 2002-2006, ICD-10 C56

Last reviewed:

An estimated 41,000 women who had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer between 1991 and 2010 were alive in the UK at the end of 2010.[1]

References

  1. Macmillan Cancer Support and National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service. Cancer Prevalence UK Data Tables. London: NCRAS; 2015.

About this data

Data is for: Great Britain (1991-2010) and Northern Ireland (1993-2010), ICD-10 C56-57.4

Last reviewed:

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the many organisations across the UK which collect, analyse, and share the data which we use, and to the patients and public who consent for their data to be used. Find out more about the sources which are essential for our statistics.