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After a heavy storm, a boy walked along the beach throwing the stranded starfish back into the sea.

A man watching shouted "there are too many of them - it won’t make any difference."

As the boy threw another starfish back into the sea, he smiled and replied "it made a difference to that one!"

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Star Throwers
30 Melton Road
Norfolk NR18 0DB

01953 423304


Centre is open Monday - Friday 10am to 4pm

Registered Charity in England & Wales
Number: 1162237

Star Throwers - Caring for people affected by Cancer

Ovarian cancer

This page is for information only. For personalised advice and support for you and your family please contact us to discuss further on 01953 423304 or info@starthrowers.org.uk 

Our care centre is address:
30 Melton Road, Wymondham, Norfolk NR18 0DB
We are open from Monday to Friday, 10am - 4pm

Aside from the core information found below, we also have a section dedicated to answering common Questions about Ovarian cancer.


Ovarian cancer is more common in the affluent west with the highest levels in North America, Western and Northern Europe. It is the 5th commonest cancer in women with approximately 6000 new cases in the UK and 20000 in the USA. The majority of cases are in women more than 55 years old.

Risk factors

One association is the number of ovulatory cycles (periods) that a woman has during her lifetime so those who had less monthly cycles due to being pregnant or on the oral contraceptive pill for five years or longer have been shown to be reduced risk. Hysterectomy (removal of the womb) with or without the removal of an ovary has also been associated with a decreased risk.

It was thought that women who had undergone infertility treatment may be at increased risk due to hyperstimulation of the ovaries but this has not been proven.

Heredity is also a risk factor. Ovarian cancer can run in families due to a mutation in a number of genes, the most well known being BRCA1, BRCA2 which also have an association with breast cancer and the Lynch Type II syndrome which is associated with an increased risk of colon and endometrial (womb) cancers.


If there is a strong family history of ovarian cancer, then discussion with a cancer geneticist should be arranged as well as testing for the common gene mutations. Even if these are negative, it is worth considering removal of the ovaries (oophorectomy). The age when this should be considered is dependent on the age that ovarian cancer developed in the relatives. Although no one knows the ideal time, it makes sense to consider oophorectomy approximately five years before the onset occurred in other members of the family.


Two large prospective trials could find no evidence that ovarian cancer was associated with low vitamin intake or carotenoids. One of the trials suggested that excess Vitamin E ingestion may possibly be associated but this was not shown in the second trial.


The standard treatment is surgery which is then followed by chemotherapy if considered necessary. The standard chemotherapy is a combination of two drugs. The first is a platinum compound called carboplatin and the second is known as a taxane the commonest being paclitaxel.

An inability to tolerate this treatment or failure of the tumour to respond will result alternative chemotherapy agents being given, the most common is liposomal doxorubicin, topotecan or gemcitabine.
For an up to date on new therapies and the latest research, please contact us for an appointment.

Questions on Ovarian cancer

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