Deaths from ovarian cancer have fallen over the last ten years, according to a new report.
Around 7,000 women develop ovarian cancer each year, making it the fifth most common cancer in women in the UK. Because it is difficult to diagnose, the disease is often not picked up until it is more advanced.
However, the National Cancer Intelligence Network report has shown that the disease now kills about nine in every 100,000 women, compared with 11 in every 100,000 in 2011.
In addition, five year survival has increased from 33% to 44% over the same time period thanks to faster diagnosis and better treatment.
It seems that the younger you are the more likely you are to recover from the disease. The report showed that for women aged 15-39 diagnosed with ovarian cancer, 84% survived their disease for at least five years compared with 14% of those aged over 85 years at diagnosis.
But experts say that whilst these figures are encouraging, more needs to be done. Hazel Nunn, head of evidence and health information at Cancer Research UK, said:
"It's encouraging to see that the number of women dying from ovarian cancer is falling, especially as ovarian cancer can be difficult to diagnose and treat."
"It may be that use of the contraceptive pill, which has a protective effect, has helped to halt the rise in ovarian cancer rates.
"Still around 7,000 women develop the disease each year - so if you experience tummy pain, bloating or a sense of feeling full that won't go away, which happens on most days, then you should pop to your doctor.
"It's most likely to be something much less serious than ovarian cancer but it's still worth getting checked out."
Annwen Jones, of Target Ovarian Cancer warned that the UK is still far behind other European countries when it comes to surviving the disease. She said: "If we only matched the European survival rates, 500 women's lives would be saved, every year."
If you want to be covered for ovarian cancer on your medical insurance, look for a policy with full cancer cover.
© ActiveQuote Health Ltd. 2012