As with most cancers, the higher the stage, the further the cancer has spread. Not surprisingly, this affects prognosis; usually the prognosis of ‘lower’ or ‘early stage’ cancers is better than that of the ‘higher’ or ‘advanced’ stage cancers. But not all advanced stage cancers will have a poor prognosis.
The prognosis from ovarian cancer depends on many factors:
- stage of ovarian cancer
- type of ovarian cancer
- how much of the cancer has been removed at surgery
- how sensitive the cancer is to chemotherapy
- the age and general medical condition of the patient
Over the last few decades, there has been a steady improvement in the survival of ovarian cancer patients. The latest figures from Cancer Research UK (based on English and Welsh data from 1971-2007) indicate that around 40% of patients with ovarian cancer now live at least 5 years after diagnosis, compared with just 20% in the 1970s. However, for women with stage one ovarian cancer, prognosis is much better, with around 90% living for at least 5 years.