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Ovarian Cancer: What CDC is Doing

Download the 2008/2009 Ovarian Cancer Initiatives Fact Sheet (PDF-1.5MB)

Based on workshops (PDF-50KB) in 2001 and 2002, CDC developed research and public health initiatives for ovarian cancer. Examples of completed projects include the following studies and publications:

  • To investigate end-of-life care, CDC completed a study of women who died of ovarian cancer within three managed care organizations. The objective of this study was to describe end-of-life care and factors that may be associated with care for these women. The study consisted of a retrospective medical record review for the 6 months before death from ovarian cancer between 1995 and 2000. Research goals included assessment of:

    • Clinical signs and symptoms during the last 6 months of life and management of these symptoms.
    • Where the women lived during this time period.
    • What type of medical care was used.

    Results from this study have contributed to the understanding of end-of-life care for women dying of ovarian cancer, including pain management, health care utilization, social support, and hospice use.

  • To enhance knowledge about ovarian cancer incidence, staging, and treatment patterns and to assess the status of cancer care for ovarian cancer patients, the Ovarian Cancer Treatment Patterns and Outcomes study was funded. It was conducted with data collected through the National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR), a cancer surveillance program administered by CDC's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. Three population-based NPCR registries (in Maryland, New York, and California) collected demographic, tumor, treatment, and survival information on ovarian cancer patients diagnosed between 1997 and 2000. The study attempted to determine:

    • What surgical staging and debulking (removal of tumor) was conducted.
    • The specialty of the surgeon performing the procedure.
    • The success of the debulking process.

    In addition, types of chemotherapy and radiation treatments were evaluated, and survival at 1 and 3 years post-diagnosis was assessed. The study collected information on more than 4,000 ovarian cancer patients and provided valuable information for the public health, scientific, and clinical communities on the status of ovarian cancer care.

CDC has published articles disseminated for the public, health professionals, and researchers. For a complete list of citations, see Scientific Articles about Ovarian Cancer.

National Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Campaign

In collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health, CDC established the Inside Knowledge: Get the Facts About Gynecologic Cancer campaign to increase awareness and knowledge among women and health care providers about the five major gynecologic cancers: cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar. This national campaign is supported by the Gynecologic Cancer Education and Awareness Act of 2005, or Johanna's Law, which was unanimously passed by the U.S. House and Senate (109th Congress) in December of 2006, and signed into law by President George W. Bush on January 12, 2007.

National Program of Cancer Registries

CDC's National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) collects surveillance data for all cancers, including ovarian and other gynecologic cancers. Data collected through the NPCR often are used by states to create burden assessments that guide program planning, outreach, and education efforts.


CDC enhances the growing knowledge about ovarian cancer by initiating research projects with partners, colleagues, and national organizations to help identify factors related to early detection of the disease, treatment, and survivorship. Learn more about CDC's ongoing research on ovarian cancer. Results of completed CDC studies about ovarian cancer are available in Ovarian Cancer Publications.

PDF Icon Please note: Some of these publications are available for download only as *.pdf files. These files require Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to be viewed. Please review the information on downloading and using Acrobat Reader software.

Page last reviewed: November 25, 2008
Page last updated: November 25, 2008
Content source: Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
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