Ovarian cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed gynaecological cancer in Australia, with 1,338 new cases of ovarian cancer in women. Ovarian cancer affects the ovaries and sometimes ovarian cancer cells travel in the bloodstream or lymphatic system to other parts of the pelvis, or to areas outside the pelvis such as the lungs or liver.
With a survival rate of less than 20% cancer of the ovary is the most prevalent, and lethal, form of gynaecological cancer.
Generally, it’s not possible to say what causes ovarian cancer in an individual woman. However, some known risk factors include:
- getting older: women who are over 50 are more likely to develop ovarian cancer than younger women;
- inheriting a faulty gene (called a gene mutation) that increases the risk of ovarian cancer; and
- having a strong family history of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, or some other cancers, including colorectal cancer and endometrial cancer.
Treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Ovarian cancer research at the Perkins
In 2014, as a result of the generous support of hundreds of women and men taking part in the Weekend to End Women's Cancers and other generous benefactors, the Perkins is establishing Western Australia's first Women's Cancer Research Centre. Ovarian cancer will be a major focus of our work.