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Ovarian Cancer Research Highlights

Ovarian cancer causes more deaths in women living in the United States than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. The American Cancer Society’s (ACS) research programs help find answers to critical questions:

  • How can ovarian cancer be diagnosed early?
  • How can the risk of developing ovarian cancer be lowered?
  • Are there more effective treatments?
  • What could help survivors have a better quality of life?

We continue to fund research to help save more lives in the future.  

Ovarian Cancer Still Causes the Most Deaths from Gynecological Cancer

About 90% of cases are epithelial ovarian cancer, and most of those cases are high-grade serous tumors, which have the fewest established risk factors and the worst prognosis.

Risk & Prevention Studies

We've Learned More About the Risk of Developing Ovarian Cancer

Thanks to CPS-II and CPS-3 participants!  

Black nurse holding blood vials wearing purple gloves

The ACS’s CPS-II Nutrition Cohort is part of the Collaborative Group on Epidemiological Studies of Ovarian Cancer. This group helped establish the increased risk for ovarian cancer in women with excess body weight and the decreased risk of ovarian cancer for women who use oral contraceptives.”

Alpa Patel, PhD

Senior Vice President Population Science

American Cancer Society

asian woman wearing turquoise patterned shirt

Ovarian Cancer Statistics on Age

40

It's rare for women younger than 40 to have ovarian cancer.

63

Half of all ovarian cancers are found in women age 63 or older.

 

Featured Term: Biomarker

A measurable molecular, genetic, chemical, or physical characteristic in the blood or other bodily fluids, such as sweat and tears, that is a sign of a normal or abnormal process or of a health condition or disease. A biomarker may be used to see how well the body responds to a treatment for a disease. 

Featured Term: Susceptibility Biomarkers

A biomarker that signals the potential, or risk, a person has to develop a disease before they have symptoms. For instance, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is a susceptibility biomarker for heart disease.

Ovarian Cancer Statistics on Racial Disparities

5 of 5

the rank Black people have on a 1-to-5 scale (with 5 as the lowest) for the incidence rate of ovarian cancer based on race and ethnicity

3 of 5

the rank Black people have on a 1-to-5 scale (with 5 as the lowest) for the death rate of ovarian cancer based on race and ethnicity

 

1 of 1

the rank American Indian and Alaska Native people have on a 1-to-5 scale (with 5 as the lowest) for incidence rate AND death rate for ovarian cancer based on race and ethnicity

Ovarian Cancer Advocacy

Listen to Vanessa's story: She's an ovarian cancer survivor and now advocates to help other survivors have access to care.

We Fund Ovarian Cancer Researchers Across the US

The ACS funds scientists who conduct research about ovarian cancer at medical schools, universities, research institutes, and hospitals throughout the United States. We use a rigorous and independent peer review process to select the most innovative research projects proposals to fund. 

These grant statistics are as of August 1, 2023.

47

ovarian cancer research grants

$31M

funding for ovarian cancer research