The Grim Statistics: Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The education campaign continues! I found all of this data on the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance's Web site. Here goes:
  • Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer among women in the United States (2004).
  • Ovarian cancer has remained the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among U.S. women since 1999. Mortality rates are slightly less for minority women than for Caucasian women.
  • Approximately 174,236 women living in the United States have or have a history of ovarian cancer.
  • One in 72 women will develop ovarian cancer (lifetime risk). One in 95 women will die from ovarian cancer.
  • The overall five-year relative survival rate for all women with ovarian cancer is 46 percent. This means that compared to women in the general population, five years from the time of diagnosis only 46 percent of women with ovarian cancer are still alive.
  • However, the survival rate improves greatly to 93 percent if the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage before it has spread. Only 19 percent of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed at this local stage.
  • Approximately 75 percent of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage after the cancer has spread beyond the ovary.
  • The five-year survival rate for women with ovarian cancer has not significantly increased in the past 30 years—a mere 8 percent.
  • Women diagnosed with ovarian cancer from 1975 to 1979 experienced a five-year survival rate of approximately 38 percent. Today this rate is approximately 46 percent.
  • The issue of ovarian cancer recurrence is complicated. Research suggests that between 70 percent to 90 percent of all women with ovarian cancer will, at some point, have a recurrence of their disease. The risk of recurrence varies based on multiple factors, including the stage at diagnosis. For example, approximately 70 – 80 percent of patients with optimal stage III ovarian cancer will have a recurrence. In case you're wondering, I'm optimal stage IIC (30 percent recurrance rate)/IIIA and have the desirable synchronous primaries as well, so realistically, I'd put my odds somewhere around 50 percent.
  • From 2001 to 2005, the most recent period for which data is available, the median age at diagnosis for ovarian cancer was 63 years. Approximately 13 percent of women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer are 45 years or younger.
  • Over the past decade there has been a slight decrease – less than 1 percent per year – in ovarian cancer incidence rates, however, during the same time, the actual incidence numbers increased by approximately 3,000 women.
  • During most of the past decade (1996 to 2005), the ovarian cancer mortality rate has remained stable while the breast cancer mortality rate has decreased 2.2 percent per year (1990 to 2005) and the cervical cancer mortality rate has decreased 3.4 percent per year in a similar time period (1995 to 2005).

In case it wasn't clear before, now you know while I'll continue to try to live life to its fullest everyday from here on out AND why I'll be crusading so hard against this cancer for the rest of my days.


  1. Thanks so much for posting this Jennie- time to schedule my annual with my OB- this makes it so much more important this year!! While I'm not glad you had to go through all of this I am glad they've got someone like you fighting on their side!! Thanks for the stats!!

  2. I am confident that those 5-year survival statistics will go up now that you're on the case. Ovarian cancer didn't know what it was in for when it tried to take you on!

  3. I haven't seen you on here in a while. I hope everything is well, and that you are just busy enjoying life.