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Back to Oncology Diseases

Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is a malignant neoplasm (abnormal growth) located on the ovaries.

Age Ovarian cancer is primarily a disease of postmenopausal women, with the
large majority of cases occurring in women between 50 and 75 years old. The
incidence of ovarian cancer increases with age and peaks at a rate of 61.5 per
100,000 women in the 75?79-year-old age group.

Race The incidence of ovarian cancer appears to vary by race, although the
effects of race are difficult to separate from those of environment related to
culture, geography, and socioeconomic status. In the United States, the ageadjusted
rate of ovarian cancer for Caucasians is estimated to be 17.9 per 100,000
population, which is significantly higher than 11.9 per 100,000 for the African-
American population.

Geography There are distinct geographic variations in the incidence of ovarian
cancer, with the highest rates found in the industrialized countries and the
lowest rates seen in underdeveloped nations. Japan, with an incidence of only
about 3.0 per 100,000 population, is a notable exception to this observation. It
has been postulated that geographic variations in the incidence of ovarian can-

cer are related, in part, to differences in family size.
Some of the highest rates are seen in women of Eastern European Jewish ancestry,
who have an estimated incidence of 17.2 per 100,000 population, a
probable result of the relatively high frequency of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations
in this population.

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