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Reasons for Improved Survival From Ovarian Cancer in New South Wales, Australia, Between 1980 and 2003: Implications for Cancer Control
  1. Elizabeth A. Tracey, BSc, MPH*,
  2. David M. Roder, BDS, MPH, DDSc,
  3. Jane Francis, MA, MPH,
  4. Helen M. Zorbas, MBBS, FASBP, MAICD,
  5. Neville F. Hacker, MD, CGO, FRANZCOG, FRCOG, FACOG, FACS and
  6. James F. Bishop, MD, MMed, MBBS, FRACP, FRCPA*
  1. *The Cancer Institute New South Wales,
  2. National Breast Cancer Centre, and
  3. Gynaecological Cancer Centre, Royal Hospital for Women, Sydney, Australia.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Elizabeth A. Tracey, The Cancer Institute New South Wales, Level 1, Biomedical Bldg, Central Ave, Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh PO Box 41, Alexandria, New South Wales 1435, Australia. E-mail: Elizabeth.Tracey{at}


We analyzed New South Wales Central Cancer Registry data for 1980-2003, to determine time trends in case fatality from ovarian cancer, after adjusting for stage, histological, and sociodemographic factors, and to consider service-delivery and research implications. After adjusting for covariates, the relative risk (95% confidence limit) of ovarian-cancer death reduced to 0.51 (0.46, 0.57) for 1999-2003 compared with 1980-1983. Relative risks were higher for adenocarcinomas and other specified and unspecified cancers than serous carcinomas, but lower for endometrioid carcinomas, sex cord-stromal and germ cell tumors. The probability of diagnosis with localized as opposed to more advanced disease was lower in older patients, the lowest socioeconomic stratum, women born in non-English-speaking countries, and more recent diagnostic periods. Approximately 61% of ovarian cancers had distant metastases at diagnosis in 1999-2003. Poorer survivals apply to older patients. Research directed at finding an effective screening test for epithelial ovarian cancer remains a priority.

  • Ovarian cancer
  • Survival
  • Stage
  • Histological type

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