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    Is ovarian cancer as deadly as we think?

    The perception of ovarian cancer’s high mortality may not align with facts, according to a new analysis published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

    Researchers performed a descriptive analysis of the survival of all California residents who were diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer between 1994 and 2001. The California Cancer Registry was used to identify patients who had follow-up through 2011.

    Recommended: BRCA and ovarian cancer update

    The authors compared the characteristics of women who survived more than 10 years with women who survived less than 2 years, those who survived for more than 2 years but less than 5 years, and women who survived for more than 5 years but less than 10 years.

    Of the 11,541 survivors overall, 3582 women—roughly 31% (confidence interval 30.2 – 31.8)—survived more than 10 years. Tumors that were of nonserous histology, low grade, and early stage, and younger age of a patient were significant predictors of long-term survival. Some of the long-term survivors, however, were women who had high-risk cancer.

    The researchers concluded that long-term survival in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer is not unusual, even among women who have high-risk disease.  Still to be determined is why some patients who have advanced-stage, high-grade cancers survive longer than others who have tumors with the same histology. They believe that their findings will prove important for patient counseling.

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    Judith M. Orvos, ELS
    Judith M. Orvos, ELS, is a a BELS-certified medical writer and editor and an editorial consultant for Contemporary OB/GYN.
    Miranda Hester
    Ms. Hester is Content Specialist with Contemporary OB/GYN and Contemporary Pediatrics.

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