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Survival Improving for Women With Ovarian Cancer

Women diagnosed today 50 percent less likely to die than they were in the 1970s

TUESDAY, May 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are now much more likely to survive the disease than they were several decades ago, according to research published online May 6 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Jason Wright, M.D., a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, and colleagues evaluated 49,932 women who were diagnosed with the disease between 1975 and 2011. All of the data came from a large national cancer database.

After accounting for advances in general medical care, Wright told HealthDay that "women diagnosed in 2006 compared to those diagnosed in 1975 are about 50 percent less likely to die from their ovarian cancer." Survival improved for all stages of ovarian cancer from 1975 to 2011, Wright found. Women with stage 1 cancers were 49 percent less likely to die of the cancer in 2006. Those with stage 3 and 4 cancers were about 51 percent less likely to die.

"We wanted to do this study because there have been a number of advances in the treatment of ovarian cancer," Wright said. "There is better surgery, better chemo, and better ways to deliver the chemo. More recently, there has also been a better understanding of the biology and genetics of the cancer."

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