Ovarian Cancer Fact 1. Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of gynecologic cancer deaths among American women.

Ovarian Cancer Fact 2. Only 24 percent of ovarian cancers are diagnosed at an early stage, when the cancer is confined to the ovary. Most cases are diagnosed after the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, making it difficult to treat successfully.

Ovarian Cancer Fact 3. One woman out of every 55 (approximately 1.8 percent) will develop ovarian cancer at some point in her lifetime.

Ovarian Cancer Fact 4. Ovarian cancer is most common in women who have already gone through menopause. The average age for developing ovarian cancer is 61 years old.

Ovarian Cancer Fact 5. For the small number of women who are fortunate enough to have their cancer diagnosed before it has spread beyond the ovary, the chance for recovery is 85 to 90 percent.

Ovarian Cancer Fact 6. For the majority of women in whom the disease has spread beyond the ovary, the chance of living for five years after the diagnosis is 20 to 25 percent.

Ovarian Cancer Fact 7. A major risk factor for getting ovarian cancer is a personal history of breast, endometrial or colon cancer.

Ovarian Cancer Fact 8. The only sure way to diagnose ovarian cancer is through microscopic examination of abnormal fluid or tissue, obtained by needle aspiration (withdrawal of fluid or tissue from a suspicious area though a special, wide needle) or surgery.

Ovarian Cancer Fact 9. Hycamtin is one of the first of a new kind of anti-cancer drugs that kills cancer cells by inhibiting an enzyme essential to the replication of human DNA.

Copyright 2003 National Women's Health Resource Center Inc. (NWHRC)