Ovarian Cancer Incidence, Mortality Decline But Access to Care Is Not Equal

Jason Harris
Published: Tuesday, Jun 26, 2018
Lindsey A. Torre, MSPH

Lindsey A. Torre, MSPH

Ovarian cancer incidence and mortality have declined significantly over the past few decades, but eliminating racial disparities in treatment and improving prevention and early detection could help save even more women, according to an American Cancer Society (ACS) analysis of related statistics.1

“Non-Hispanic black women have the secondlowest incidence rate and the second-highest mortality rate. That doesn’t make any sense,” Torre said. “It’s thought to be because of disparities in access to treatment—specifically, in receiving optimal treatment. We’re at an opportunity point. We’re understanding the disease better, and there are effective treatments that just need to be applied more equitably.”

Table. Ovarian Cancer All-stage 5-year Cause-Specific Survival (%) Differs by Race/Ethnicity, Histology1

The ACS estimates that there will be 22,240 new ovarian cancer diagnoses and 14,070 disease-specific deaths in the United States this year. Ovarian cancer represents just 2.5% of all cancers among women but 5% of cancer deaths. For women with local disease, the 5-year relative survival rate is 93%, but many ovarian cancers are diagnosed in hard-to-treat advanced stages, providing hope for improving survival with better prevention and early detection.
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