Research Papers:

The prevalence of malignant and borderline ovarian cancer in pre- and post-menopausal Chinese women

Fang Shen _, Shouzhen Chen, Yifei Gao, Xujing Dai and Qi Chen

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:80589-80594. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20384

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Fang Shen1,*, Shouzhen Chen1,*, Yifei Gao1, Xujing Dai1 and Qi Chen1,2

1The Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Fudan University, China

2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The University of Auckland, New Zealand

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Fang Shen, email: [email protected]

Qi Chen, email: [email protected]

Keywords: ovarian cancer, menopause, age at diagnosis, Chinese women

Received: May 30, 2017     Accepted: July 25, 2017     Published: August 22, 2017


The incidence of ovarian cancer depends on the ethnicity and geographical area. Menopausal status is a well-known risk factor for ovarian cancer and most cases occur after menopause in Caucasians. However, it is less clear how the status of menopause or age at diagnosis is associated with ovarian cancer including its subtypes in Chinese women. Data on 1,283 women with primary malignant or borderline ovarian cancer including age at diagnosis, age at menopause and histology from the largest women’s hospital in China was analysed. The median age at diagnosis was 53, 44 and 23 years for epithelial ovarian cancer or sex-cord tumors or germ cell tumors respectively. 58% of epithelial ovarian cancers were diagnosed after menopause, while 58% and 95% of sex-cord tumors and germ cell tumors were diagnosed before menopause. Around 60% of serous, endometrioid and clear-cell carcinoma of epithelial ovarian cancer were diagnosed after menopause, while 23% of mucinous carcinoma was diagnosed after menopause. The median age at diagnosis was 35 years for borderline ovarian cancer and 80% of patients were diagnosed before menopause.

Our data demonstrates that the median age at diagnosis of ovarian cancer is younger in our study population than Caucasians reported in the literature regardless of malignant or borderline ovarian cancers, and regardless of subtypes of epithelial ovarian cancer. The prevalence of ovarian cancer is proportionately higher in our study population before menopause than Caucasians. Our results suggest clinicians to be more aware of the symptoms of ovarian cancer in premenopausal Chinese women.

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