More women surviving ovarian cancer

Deaths from ovarian cancer in England fell by 20% in the last decade, official figures show, and experts believe the falling death rate may be due to advances in early detection and treatment.

Hysterosalpingogram showing ovarian cancer (Photograph: SPL)
Hysterosalpingogram showing ovarian cancer (Photograph: SPL)

Almost half of women with the disease now live for five years or more compared with only a third a decade ago, according to the National Cancer Intelligence Network.

A report by the network found mortality rates fell from 11.2 women in every 100,000 in 2001 to 8.8 per 100,000 in 2010, a reduction of 21%.

One-year survival rose from 57% to 73% in this time and five-year survival jumped from 33% to 44%. Incidence had been stable since the late 1980s but has dropped slightly in recent years.

Study author Dr Andy Nordin, a gynaecological oncologist at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘This drop in deaths may reflect improvements in detecting and treating the disease, such as improvements in scanning, surgery and chemotherapy treatments.’ He said specialist management of the cancer had also improved.

Around 7,000 cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK.

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