If diagnosed early ovarian cancer is a highly curable disease. Despite this fact, the cancer of the ovary kills more American women each year than all the other gynecological cancers combined. Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women. As per the estimates of the American Cancer Society about 25,580 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in the United States during 2004. It is estimated that a total of 16,090 women would die from ovarian cancer in the year 2004. Cancer of the ovaries accounts for about 4 percent of all cancers that occurs in women. Every woman has about 1.7 percent chance of developing ovarian cancer in her lifetime, and has about 1 percent chance of dying from the disease. The chances of developing ovarian cancer and dying form the disease are higher in Caucasian women compared to the African American women. Ovarian cancer is a relatively less aggressive from of cancer. About 78 percent of
patients with ovarian will survive
1 year from the date of diagnosis. And more than half will survive more than five years. If the ovarian cancer is detected early and treated while the cancer has not spread outside the ovary, the chance of curing the disease is very good. An estimated 95 percent of this group of patients would live for 5 years after the diagnosis. Since ovarian cancer usually does not produce any symptoms during the early stages majority of patients are diagnosed at later stages of the disease, and only about 29 percent of all ovarian cancers are detected found at early stage.
Although the number of deaths from ovarian cancer continues to increase, major advances in the chemotherapy and surgery has started showing some results and this is translating into improved survival. The overall 5 year survival data has increased form 36 percent as seen in 1970 to 50 percent in late 1980s and 1990s.