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Is cancer treatment 'improving survival rates'

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The number of women surviving from ovarian cancer has almost doubled over the last 30 years.


This is according to new figures from Cancer Research UK, which show that the overall five-year survival rate for the cancer has increased from 21 per cent in the early 1970s to 41 per cent today.


Indeed, over 1,000 more women per year in England and Wales are now surviving the cancer.


Dr James Brenton, based at the cancer charity's Cambridge Research Institute, commented: "These latest figures show improvements in treatment, such as centralisation of ovarian cancer surgery and uniform access to chemotherapy, are making a difference in helping more women survive ovarian cancer, particularly those who are diagnosed earlier.


"But we face a real challenge in translating these improvements in survival to women whose ovarian cancer has already spread."


This could relate to the fact that survival rates for women diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer still lag behind those who are diagnosed with the earlier stages of the disease.


In fact, just 20 per cent are surviving for five years after diagnosis, while only six per cent of women with stage IV ovarian cancer reach this stage. 

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Cancer treatment news : 17 March 2011