About Ovarian Cancer

Like all cancers, ovarian cancer is not a single disease, but a category of many diseases. What these diseases have in common is that they start in the ovaries or in the finger-like opening of the fallopian tube. But just as each woman who develops ovarian cancer is a unique individual, her cancer is unique as well.

Facts & Figures

  • The cause of ovarian cancer is unknown.
  • Ovarian cancer usually occurs in women over age 50, but it can also affect younger women.
  • Ovarian cancer is the 9th most common type of cancer in women.
  • About 22,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Of these women, 15,000 will die from the disease, making ovarian cancer the most lethal gynecologic malignancy and the 5th leading cause of cancer deaths in women.

One of the primary challenges of ovarian cancer is that initial symptoms are generally mild, making early detection difficult. As a result, women often do not notice the symptoms or mention them to their physician until the disease is in advanced stages. Only 24% of ovarian cancers are detected at an early stage before it has spread outside the ovaries.

For more in-depth information about ovarian cancer, the following sites may be useful: