Ovarian cancer survival - little to do with orthodox treatment

Researchers from Stamford University in California have studied ovarian cancer survival rates by age and concluded that the main determining factor of 5-year survival is age and not the treatment provided. 


Younger women diagnosed with ovarian cancer have a greater chance of surviving the disease for five years or more, according to the research, published in the British Journal of Cancer.


Researchers at Stanford looked at the records of more than 28,000 American women diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer over a 13 year period. They found that women diagnosed under the age of 60 were more likely to survive for at least five years than women over 60. Women diagnosed under 30 generally had even better survival rates, although the disease is rare in this age group.

The researchers admitted that ovarian cancer can be difficult to treat unless it is detected early, and the disease is very hard to detect. Worse, while treatment for the disease has advanced over the last 20 years, long term survival rates have shown only moderate improvement in that time.

The study also found there was no significant difference in survival for women aged between 16 and 40 – i.e. of childbearing age – treated with uterine-sparing surgery and for those who underwent standard surgery, which includes removing the womb and therefore leaves the patient unable to have children. The research was reported by Cancer Research UK.

Go to: Ovarian cancer overview - symptoms, causes and treatment alternatives

A five-year relative survival rate compares people with the cancer, to similar people of the same age in the population at large. Thus if 10% of women aged 60 in the general population die over the following 5 years, the numbers dying from ovarian cancer are discounted by 10% (Source: American Cancer Society).  So if women diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 60 have an 80% 5-year survival rate, it means they are 80% as likely to live 5 years as a woman in the general population.

In America, the 5-year relative survival rates for any age from diagnosis are:

Epithelial ovarian cancer:             Localised 92%. Metastasised 30%

Stromal ovarian cancer:               Localised 98%. Metasasised 54%

Fallopian Tube ovarian cancer:   Localised 94%. Metastasised 45%

Figures in the UK are below this.

Go to: Ovarian cancer - Latest news, latest research


CancerAcitve Logo
Subscribe (Free e-Newsletter)

Join Chris'

Join Chris' NewsletterSignup today for free and be the first to get notified on new updates.