U.S. Ovarian Cancer Survival Rates Up Slightly

Five-year survival rates inch up from 45.4 to 48.6 percent, but prognosis unchanged for some types

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Overall five-year survival rates for ovarian cancer patients in the United States have increased slightly over 14 years, but the prognosis for some tumor types has not changed, researchers report in the Sept. 1 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

John K. Chan, M.D., of Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., and colleagues studied data on 30,246 ovarian cancer patients, including 486 with sex-cord stromal ovarian tumors, as well as 778 with germ cell, 818 with sarcoma, 1,411 with clear cell, and 26,753 with non-clear cell epithelial tumors.

The researchers found the overall disease-specific survival increased from 45.4 percent in 1988-1992 to 48.6 percent in 1993-1997. Survival for sarcomas reached 38.8 percent, up from 33.5 percent; non-clear cell epithelial cancer survival attained 45.8 percent, from 42.5 percent.

But survival for clear cell ovarian tumors was 63.9 percent in 1993-1997, down from 64.3 percent in the earlier time period; and survival for sex-cord stromal tumors was 85.7 percent in 1993-1997 compared with 89.7 percent in 1988-1992.

"In this large population-based study, there has been some improvement in the overall survival of women with ovarian cancers during a 14-year period," the authors write. "However, new treatment strategies are warranted for those with epithelial cancer and sarcomas of the ovary."

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