Prognosis after stage 4 ovarian cancer

Written by julie boehlke
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Stage 4 ovarian affects the ovaries and the surrounding tissue. Stage 4 ovarian cancer or invasive epithelial ovarian cancer is generally considered to be in its final stages; therefore the prognosis is typically poor.

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Cancer is staged ranging from 1 to 4---with 4 being the most advanced stage. Staging is established based on the presence of the original tumour and its size, how far it has spread and how it responds to treatment.


The spread of cancer into vital organs such as the liver, lungs, bones and brain is referred to as metastasis. Surgical removal of the cancer at this point is difficult.

Types and Prognosis

According to the American Cancer Society, stage 4 ovarian cancer is split into three main types, with invasive epithelial having the worst prognosis, low-malignant ovarian tumours having a 77 per cent chance of five-year survival and germ-cell ovary tumour patients having a 55 per cent chance of surviving only five years.


Based on a five-year survival rate, cancer patients with stage 4 invasive epithelial ovarian cancer have only an 18 per cent chance of surviving past five years of their original diagnosis.

Palliative Care

Most stage 4 ovarian cancers are treated with palliative care. This means chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be used to shrink the tumour but not treat the disease. Comfort measures are used to ensure a reduction in pain and discomfort.

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