Ovaries are reproductive glands found only in women that produce eggs for procreation. Since the reproductive glands contain 3 main kinds of cells: “epithelial cells, which cover the ovary; germ cells, which are found inside the ovary, and; stromal cells, which form the structural tissue holding the ovary together, and produce most of the female hormones,” (National Cancer Society); each cell type has the ability of developing into a different type of tumor. Any tumor beginning within the ovary would be known as ovarian cancer. Symptoms of ovarian cancer are very vague, many risk factors of the illness are still unclear to researchers, and “the prognosis associated with ovarian cancer is not very good,” (Ovarian Cancer).
The rate at which women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer has been slowly decreasing over the past 20 years: on January 1, 2009, in the United States there were approximately 182,758 women alive who had a history of cancer of the ovary, and according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), “It is estimated that 22,280 women will be diagnosed with and 15,500 women will die of cancer of the ovary in 2012.”
Ovarian cancer is the ninth most common cancer among women, excluding non-melanoma skin cancers. “0.56% of women will develop cancer of the ovary between their 50th and 70th birthdays,” (National Cancer Institute). Cancer of the ovary ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women, accounting for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system, and “claiming the lives of over 100,000 women per year of the 200,000 women who are diagnosed with the cancer worldwide,” (Ovarian Cancer). The cancer accounts for about 3% of all cancers in women, leaving their lifetime chance of dying from ovarian cancer about 1 in 95.
Based on NCI’s SEER Cancer Statistics Review From 2005-2009, the median age at diagnosis for ovarian cancer was 63. Approximately 1.3% of women were diagnosed under 20 years of age; 3.6%...