Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan for Michigan, 2009-2015
Ovarian Cancer Goals (2009 - 2015)

Goal: Improve understanding of, and access to, genetic counseling services for women who may be at high risk for developing ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer is the ninth most common cancer in women and ranks fifth as the cause of cancer death in American women. It is also the leading cause of gynecological cancer death in the United States. In 2011, it is estimated that over 21,990 U.S. women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, with over 15,460 dying of the disease.1 It is estimated that one of 71 women will develop invasive ovarian cancer in her lifetime.2

The American Cancer Society estimates that 560 Michigan women will die of ovarian cancer in 2011.1 Data from the Michigan Cancer Registry show that 479 women died from ovarian cancer in 2008,3 and 759 women were newly diagnosed with the disease in 2007.3 Ovarian cancer incidence and mortality rates for Michigan women are similar to U.S. rates, and rates are similar around the state.4

The majority (52.8 percent) of all new cases of ovarian cancer in Michigan diagnosed in 2007 were at the distant stage, with a much smaller percentage (17.9 percent) of cases diagnosed at the localized stage. Five-year survival rates for women diagnosed at the localized stage are 92.5 percent; unfortunately, fewer than 30 percent of ovarian cancers are detected at this early stage. Women diagnosed at a later stage have five-year survival rates of only 27.2 percent. No racial disparities in the staging of ovarian cancer exist within the Michigan population.3

The majority of ovarian cancer cases seem to be sporadic. Currently, there are no effective screening tests to assist with the early detection of ovarian cancer, and the United States Preventive Task Force Guidelines for Primary Care Providers state that family history is the single greatest risk for ovarian cancer. Even though only 10 percent of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer have one of the genetic mutations associated with ovarian cancer, there is also documented evidence of a familial risk relationship between ovarian and breast (as well as colorectal and prostate) cancer.2

Ovarian Cancer Health Disparities Data

  • Incidence and mortality patterns vary among ethnic and racial groups within different age groups, but white women have the highest age-specific mortality rates in all age groups.2

  • Ovarian cancer is most common in post-menopausal women; half of all ovarian cancers are found in women over the age of 63.2

Strategic Plan:
Review the implementation objectives and strategies for this goal (available as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file).*


1 American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2008.

2 American Cancer Society.

3 Michigan Cancer Surveillance Program, 2008 Michigan Cancer Death Public Use File & 2007 Michigan Cancer Incidence Public Use File. Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) Division for Vital Records & Health Statistics.

4 National Cancer Institute. SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2005. Available online at


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last updated: 10/25/13