More women now surviving ovarian cancer

Cancer cell Early treatment may stop the cancer from spreading

Related Stories

Deaths from ovarian cancer have fallen by a fifth in a decade in England, figures reveal.

They show the disease now kills about nine in every 100,000 women, compared with 11 in every 100,000 in 2001.

Faster diagnosis and better treatment mean women are now surviving with their cancer for longer - five-year survival has increased from 33% to 44% over that period.

But experts say more still needs to be done to tackle ovarian cancer.

About 7,000 women develop it each year, making it the fifth most common cancer in women in the UK.

Start Quote

If you experience tummy pain, bloating or a sense of feeling full that won't go away, which happens on most days then you should pop to your doctor”

End Quote Hazel Nunn Cancer Research UK

And ovarian cancer remains difficult for doctors to diagnose, which means it is often not picked up until it is more advanced and harder to treat.

'Could do better'

Hazel Nunn, head of evidence and health information at Cancer Research UK, said: "It's encouraging to see that the number of women dying from ovarian cancer is falling, especially as ovarian cancer can be difficult to diagnose and treat.

"It may be that use of the contraceptive pill, which has a protective effect, has helped to halt the rise in ovarian cancer rates.

"Still around 7,000 women develop the disease each year - so if you experience tummy pain, bloating or a sense of feeling full that won't go away, which happens on most days, then you should pop to your doctor.

"It's most likely to be something much less serious than ovarian cancer but it's still worth getting checked out."

Annwen Jones, of Target Ovarian Cancer, said despite improvements, the UK still lagged behind other European countries in terms of cancer survival and that the remaining high death rate among older women with the disease was of particular concern.

For women aged 15-39 diagnosed with ovarian cancer, 84% survived their disease for at least five years compared with 14% of those aged over 85 years at diagnosis, according to the National Cancer Intelligence Network report.

Ms Jones said: "If we only matched the European survival rates, 500 women's lives would be saved, every year."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Health stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

BBC Future

(SPL)

Is it bad to bottle up anger?

The complex evidence behind stress relief Read more...

Programmes

  • A factory in JapanThe Travel Show Watch

    Factory infatuation – why Japan’s industrial compounds are drawing large crowds at night

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.