Ovarian cancer today and tomorrow: A global assessment by world region and Human Development Index using GLOBOCAN 2020

Int J Cancer. 2022 Nov 1;151(9):1535-1541. doi: 10.1002/ijc.34002. Epub 2022 Mar 30.


Ovarian cancer remains to have relatively poor prognosis particularly in low-resourced settings. It is therefore important to continually examine the burden of ovarian cancer to identify areas of disparities. Our study aims to provide an overview of the global burden of ovarian cancer using the GLOBOCAN 2020 estimates by country, world region, and Human Development Index (HDI) levels, as well as the predicted future burden by the year 2040 by HDI. Age-standardized incidence and mortality rates for ovarian cancer in 185 countries were calculated by country, world region, and for the four-tier HDI. The number of new cases and deaths were projected for the year 2040 based on demographic projections by HDI category. Approximately 314 000 new ovarian cancer cases and 207 000 deaths occurred in 2020. There were marked geographic variations in incidence rates, with the highest rates observed in European countries with very high HDI and low rates were found in African countries within the lowest HDI group. Comparable mortality rates were observed across the four-tier HDI. Relative to 2020 estimates, our projection for 2040 indicates approximately 96% and 100% increase in new ovarian cancer cases and deaths, respectively, among low HDI countries compared to 19% and 28% in very high HDI countries. Our study highlights the disproportionate current and future burden of ovarian cancer in countries with lower HDI levels, calling for global action to reduce the burden and inequality of ovarian cancer in access to quality cancer care and treatment.

Keywords: cancer disparities; incidence; mortality; ovarian cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Africa
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / epidemiology