Ovarian cancer (ovarian cancer) is one of the most common forms of cancer among women, accounting for 4% of cases with an annual incidence of around 700 cases per year in Sweden. Ovarian cancer usually affects older women, the median age is 63 years and approximately 80% of patients are 50 years of age or older. About 90-95% of all new cases are sporadic, while the remaining proportion has genetic causes and relationships.
About 30% of newly diagnosed ovarian cancer cases are in stages I or II. These patients have relatively good survival prognosis. The majority are cured by surgery alone but due to diffuse symptoms at the onset of the disease, most of the ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed with already widespread tumor growth in the abdomen and pelvis, as well as occurrence of ascites, i.e., fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity. About 70% of all newly diagnosed epithelial (superficial cells) ovarian cancer in Sweden belongs to stages III-IV. The standard treatment for these advanced ovarian cancer cases after primary surgery, is chemotherapy. The total five-year survival is slightly below 50%. This means that nearly 400 women die annually in the disease.