Taking Charge: Women's Health
Breast and ovarian cancers are the most worrisome of the "women's cancers." Each year more than 175,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and more than 25,000 with ovarian cancer. Even though many fewer women get ovarian cancer, it claims proportionately more lives. One-third of women who develop breast cancer will die from the disease, but more than 60 percent of women who get ovarian cancer will die of it.
These are frightening statistics, but they are important to know. Knowledge may lead you to take action to protect your health and that of other women you care about — your mother, daughters, relatives and friends. After you read this booklet, you will better understand factors that increase or decrease a woman's risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers, and what can be done to improve the chances that if cancer develops, it is found at an early stage. You will also learn something about how these cancers are treated.
By the Numbers
The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that in 1999, 175,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in U.S. women, and that the disease will claim 43,300 lives. In the same year the ACS estimates that 25,200 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in the United States, and 14,500 women will die of the disease.
Breast Cancer Is...
- The most common cancer in U.S. women, after skin cancer
- Second only to lung cancer in cancer deaths
- The leading cause of cancer death in women age 40 to 55
Ovarian Cancer Is...
- The fifth most common cancer among U.S. women
- The fifth most common cause of cancer death in U.S. women
- Responsible for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system
Read these other sections to learn more about breast and ovarian cancer:
- What Is Breast Cancer?
- Who Gets Breast Cancer?
- If You Are at High Risk for Breast Cancer
- Screening for Breast Cancer
- How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed?
- How Is Breast Cancer Treated?
- What Is Ovarian Cancer?
- Who Gets Ovarian Cancer?
- If You Are at High Risk for Ovarian Cancer
- Screening for Ovarian Cancer
- How Is Ovarian Cancer Diagnosed?
- How is Ovarian Cancer Treated?
- Living With Cancer
- Diet, Lifestyle and Cancer
- Glossary of Terms
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.