Ovarian Cancer

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Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging TOPICS

Survival rates for ovarian cancer, by stage

Survival rates are often used by doctors as a standard way of discussing a person's prognosis (outlook). Some patients with cancer may want to know the survival statistics for people in similar situations, while others may not find the numbers helpful, or may even not want to know them. If you decide that you don’t want to know them, stop reading here and skip to the next section.

The 5-year survival rate refers to the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after their cancer is diagnosed. Of course, many people live much longer than 5 years (and even are cured).

Five-year relative survival rates assume that some people will die of other causes and compare the observed survival with that expected for people without the cancer. This is a more accurate way to see the impact of the cancer on survival.

In order to get 5-year survival rates, doctors have to look at people who were treated at least 5 years ago. Improvements in treatment since then may result in a more favorable outlook for people now being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Survival rates are often based on previous outcomes of large numbers of people who had the disease, but they cannot predict what will happen in any particular person's case. Many other factors may affect a person's outlook, such as their general health, the grade of the cancer, the treatment received, and how well the cancer responds to treatment. Your doctor can tell you how the numbers below may apply to you, as he or she is familiar with the aspects of your situation.

For all types of ovarian cancer, the 5-year relative survival is 44%. Women diagnosed when they are younger than 65 do better than older women. If ovarian cancer is found (and treated) before the cancer has spread outside the ovary, the 5-year relative survival rate is 92%. However, only 15% of all ovarian cancers are found at this early stage.

The survival rates given below are for the different types of ovarian cancer. They come from the National Cancer Institute, SEER Data Base and are based on patients diagnosed from 1988 to 2001.

Invasive epithelial ovarian cancer

Stage

Relative 5-Year Survival Rate

 

I

89%

IA

94%

IB

91%

IC

80%

II

66%

IIA

76%

IIB

67%

IIC

57%

III

34%

IIIA

45%

IIIB

39%

IIIC

35%

IV

18%

Ovarian tumors of low malignant potential

Stage

Relative 5-yr Survival Rate

 

I

99%

II

98%

III

96%

IV

77%

Germ cell tumors of the ovary

Stage

Relative 5-yr Survival Rate

 

I

98%

II*

80%

III

84%

IV

55%

*Stage II cancer survival not based on many cases - may not be reliable

Fallopian tube carcinoma

Stage

Relative 5-yr Survival Rate

 

I

93%

II*

74%

III

66%

IV

40%

*Stage II cancer survival not based on many cases - may not be reliable


Last Medical Review: 03/21/2013
Last Revised: 02/06/2014