Do You Know Why Ovarian Cancer Death Rates Are Declining Worldwide?

According to new research published in the Annals of Oncology, deaths due to ovarian cancer have declined worldwide from 2002 to 2012. The authors believe the main reason for this is the use of oral contraceptives, along with  “declines in menopausal hormone use…as well as improved diagnosis, management and treatment.”

The research, led by Carlo La Vecchia from the University of Milan, used data from the World Health Organization database. The team of researchers observed greatest decline in the European Union, the United States, and Australia. There was less of a decrease overall in Latin American countries. La Vecchia explains “there are still noticeable differences between countries such as Britain, Sweden and Denmark, where more women started to take oral contraceptives earlier – from the 1960s onwards – and countries in Eastern Europe, but also in some other Western and Southern European countries such as Spain, Italy and Greece, where oral contraceptive use started much later and was less widespread.” The use of hormone replacement therapy that managed menopausal symptoms has also declined since 2002; the researchers believe this caused a decrease in death rates in older women. They predict more decline in ovarian cancer deaths among more developed nations through 2020.