The following statistics come primarily from the most recent findings of the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute. SEER numbers are age-adjusted and based on actual data.
SEER data is available for most data through 2016. More recent statistics are projections from the American Cancer Society.
The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2021, about 21,410 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 13,770 women will die of ovarian cancer in the United States. Mortality rates for ovarian cancer have declined only slightly in the forty years since the “War on Cancer” was declared.
The SEER Program reports that in 2017 in the United States approximately 233,364 women were alive who had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer (including those who had been cured of the disease).
Ovarian cancer accounts for 1.2 percent of cancers in women.
While the 11th most common cancer among women, ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among women, and is the deadliest of gynecologic cancers. Mortality rates are slightly higher for Caucasian women than for African-American women.
A Woman’s Lifetime Risk
A woman’s lifetime risk of developing invasive ovarian cancer is 1 in 78. A woman’s lifetime risk of dying from invasive ovarian cancer is 1 in 108.
Age of Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis
Ovarian cancer can occur in women of all ages. Rates are highest in women aged 55-64 years. The median age at which women are diagnosed is 63, meaning that half of women are younger than 63 when diagnosed with ovarian cancer and half are older.
The median age of death from ovarian cancer is 70.