Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer: Prognosis, Survival Rate, Life Expectancy

Monika Singh   by Monika Singh, MS    Last updated on October 3, 2019,

stage 4 ovarian cancer


Stage 4 ovarian cancer

Stage 4 is the most advanced and last stage of ovarian cancer. It means cancer has spread to distant areas or organs (outside the abdomen and pelvis) in your body. Cancerous cells may be found in the spleen, liver, lungs or other organs of the body. Stage 4 ovarian cancer is further divided into two sub-stages which are:

Stage 4A ovarian cancer

In stage 4A of ovarian cancer, the cancer cells are found in the fluid around the lungs (also known as malignant pleural effusion) with no other areas affected.

Stage 4B ovarian cancer

Stage 4B of ovarian cancer indicates that the cancer has spread to the inside of the spleen or liver, to lymph nodes (besides the retroperitoneal lymph nodes), or other organs or tissues outside the peritoneal cavity (includes the lungs, the brain, and the skin).

See also: Ovarian Cancer: Causes, Symptoms, Stages, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Can stage 4 ovarian cancer be cured?

Stage 4 ovarian cancer is not curable. Ovarian cancer is considered as one of the dangerous cancers because it is asymptomatic and is often diagnosed in its advanced stages (reason being the similarity in symptoms with other common diseases). The rates of diagnosis of ovarian cancer have remained relatively stable (a decrease of less than 1 percent annually) from the year 2000 to 2010. The mortality rate and life expectancies have also remained stable.

Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer Life Expectancy

Most women diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer have a five-year survival rate of approximately 17%. But it is different for different women. There are many things which can affect the prognosis of ovarian cancer. Other factors may also impact a woman's prognosis, including her general health, the grade of cancer, and how well the cancer responds to treatment.

The prognosis of ovarian cancer fairly depends on both the stage and the type of ovarian cancer of a patient.

More: Ovarian Cancer Pain: Understanding and Treating It

More: Coping With Cancer Treatment

Stage 4 ovarian cancer prognosis depending upon the type of cancer

There are three types of ovarian cancer:


These tumors develop in the layer of tissue on the outside of the ovaries. About 90 percent of ovarian cancers are epithelial tumors.


These tumors grow in hormone-producing cells. About 7 percent of ovarian cancers involve Stromal Tumors.

Germ cell

These tumors develop in egg-producing cells. Germ cell tumors are significantly rarer.

  • The relative five-year survival rate for epithelial ovarian cancer is 17 percent.
  • The relative five-year survival rate for ovarian stromal tumors is 35 percent.
  • The relative five-year survival rate for ovarian germ cell tumors is 69 percent.
  • The five-year relative survival rate for these three types of tumors is 44 percent.
  • If diagnosed (only 15 % of ovarian cancers are diagnosed at early stages) and treated in stage 1, the five-year relative survival rate is 92 percent.

Stage 4 ovarian cancer survival rate depending upon the time since diagnosis

The life expectancy of ovarian cancer also depends on the time since the diagnosis of ovarian cancer is made. For example, at the time of diagnosis, the survival rate is 100 percent. But as the time increases, there is a drop in the number of stage 4 ovarian cancer survivors.

diagnosis 100.0
1 year 68.6
2 year 53.9
3 year 42.4
4 year 33.9
5 year 27.9
6 year 23.9
7 year 21.1
8 year 18.9
9 year 17.4
10 year 16.1

Monika Singh

Monika Singh is an expert in computer sciences and has pursued her Master’s degree (M.Tech-CS) from Banasthali University, Rajasthan. Her areas of interest include data structure, software engineering, software testing, and computer graphics. Monika Singh has published a paper on “Modified AODV in MANET,” International Journal of Computer Science and Management Studies (IJCSMS), ISSN: 2231-5268, Vol-14, Issue-05 May 2014, PP:12-18.

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