Ovarian Cancer Australia has released 10 facts women may not know about ovarian cancer.


1. Did you know that ovarian cancer has the lowest survival rate of any women’s cancer and has a five year survival rate well below the average for all cancers?

2. Each year 1400 Australian women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and more than 1000 will die from the disease – that’s one woman every eight hours!

3. Each day in Australia, four women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and three will die from the disease.

4. Women over 50 who have been through menopause are most commonly affected by ovarian cancer; however the disease can affect women of all ages.

5. There is no early detection test for ovarian cancer. But you can recognise the symptoms which most commonly include: abdominal or pelvic pain, increased abdominal size or persistent abdominal bloating, the need to urinate often or urgently, or feeling full after eating a small amount.

6. If diagnosed early, the majority of women can survive. Unfortunately without an early detection the majority of women are diagnosed with advanced stages of the disease.

7. In Australia, the overall five year survival rate for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer is 43 per cent. In comparison, the overall five year survival rate for women diagnosed with breast cancer is 89 per cent.

8. Genetics and family history are responsible for at least 15 per cent of ovarian cancers. If a woman has two or more relatives from the same side of the family affected by ovarian or ovarian and breast cancer her risk of developing the disease may be increased. This tends to be a result of an inherited faulty gene that increases a woman’s risk of developing both cancers.

9. Other risk factors women ought to be aware of include:

– Being over 50 years of age
– Never having children, being unable to have children, or having children after 30
– Never having used oral contraceptives
– Having endometriosis
– Lifestyle factors: such as smoking, being overweight or eating a high fat diet
– Hormonal factors: early puberty or late menopause

10. Ovarian Cancer Australia is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2001 by people who had been affected by ovarian cancer, either themselves or through someone they loved. It provides support for women and their families, raises community awareness of ovarian cancer, advocates for improved services for women and promotes world class ovarian cancer research to help save lives and ensure no woman with ovarian cancer walks alone.


For further information about Ovarian Cancer Australia visit their website, and keep an eye out for Ovarian Cancer month in February where you can help raise awareness and funds for a good cause.