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While extremely frightening, ovarian cancer is a rare disease. Only one out of every 15,000 women at the age of thirty will be found to have the disease. At 40, about the age that Gilda Radner was discovered to have ovarian cancer, only one of every 2,500 women has this disease. At the age of 60, the average age at which women get ovarian cancer, only one of every 600 women will be found to have it. In your entire lifetime, if you live to be 90 years old, you have a 1 in 70 cumulative risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Based on age, the number of women who get ovarian cancer

At age 40 1 out of 2,500
At age 45 1 out of 1,500
At age 50 1 out of 1,500
At age 55 1 out of 700
At age 60 1 out of 600
At age 65 1 out of 500
At age 70 1 out of 400
At age 75 1 out of 400
At age 80 1 out of 400
At age 85 1 out of 400

While worrisome , compare this with the 1 in 3 chance a woman has of dying of a heart attack by the time she is 90 - or the fact that you are more likely to die from an auto accident and twice as likely to die from colon cancer than you are from ovarian cancer. This is not to diminish the human toll from this terrible disease. However, all of the interest and media coverage surrounding ovarian cancer has given the impression that the disease is now more common, that there is an epidemic. In fact, the incidence of ovarian cancer is no greater now than it was 25 years ago.


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