Stages of Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer Survival Rates and Stages:  

Women suffering from ovarian cancer today have a higher survival rate compared to those who suffered from the illness a few years ago. This is as a result of technological advances that lead to early detection of the disease and better treatment methods. However, despite all these strategic benefits, there is still a significant number of women who face this life-threatening disease every day. We take a look at different stages of this disease and the corresponding ovarian cancer survival rate.

Stage One

During this stage, the cancer is usually in the ovaries only. This means it has not yet spread to other tissues, lymph nodes or other organs of the body. The cancer is treatable and chances of the patient surviving more than five years are very high. With a survival rate of 92%, stage one cancer patients stand the highest chance of a cancer-free life upon receiving treatment.

Stage Two

At this stage, the cancer could be in one or both of the ovaries and has even spread to other organs like the rectum, uterus, bladder, fallopian tubes and other body tissues. However, it has not managed to spread to the lymph nodes or outside the pelvis. The patient’s ability to survive five years or more is therefore much lower. It is between 70% to 75% depending on what organs need to be treated. So if the cancer is restricted on particular areas in the ovaries, the odds of surviving with the diseases for more than five years will definitely increase.

Stage Three

The cancer cells have already spread to the lymph nodes, outside the pelvis and in the lining of the abdomen. Individuals with ovarian cancer stage three will in most cases have as low as 34% survival chances for more than five years. The figure can however change based on the invasiveness of the cancer and the organs affected. For instance, the relative 5-year survival rate for fallopian tube carcinoma is 87% while that of ovarian stromal tumors is 65% in this stage.

Stage Four

This is the most advanced stage of ovarian cancer and is regarded as the most serious of the cancer stage. The cancer cells usually have already invaded distant organs in the body like spleen, lungs, distant lymph nodes, skin, brain or the liver. Patients with stage four ovarian cancer have around 17% chances of surviving more than five years but this may vary widely depending on location of the cancer cells. For example, the survival rate for fallopian tube carcinoma is around 40% and 35% for ovarian stromal tumors in stage 4.

Note: The term five-year survival does not mean that individuals diagnosed with ovarian cancer can only live for five years only. It just relates to the number of individuals who live at least for the five years or more after the diagnosis. There are many people who live for more than the 5-years.


Through living a healthy lifestyle, women can actually avoid contracting this type of cancer. Engaging in regular check-ups for early detection of the disease can also help in increasing the ovarian cancer survival rate.