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Keywords:

  • ovary;
  • carcinoma;
  • pathology;
  • incidence;
  • epidemiology;
  • SEER;
  • borderline;
  • neoplasms;
  • histology

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Malignant tumors of the ovary are the leading cause of death from gynecologic malignancies in the United States. Population-based incidence data for these neoplasms by histopathologic type and race are limited. Variation in rates may provide clues for future etiologic studies.

METHODS

The authors performed a detailed, population-based analysis of U.S. incidence rates by histologic type, race, and age for invasive ovarian tumors that were diagnosed during 1978–1998 and for borderline ovarian tumors that were diagnosed during 1992–1998 using data from the U.S. Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program.

RESULTS

White women had significantly higher rates compared with black women of all types of epithelial tumors, with the white:black rate ratios ranging from 1.23 to 2.56. Black women had higher rates of gonadal stromal tumors. Among both white women and black women, total carcinoma rates did not change greatly from 1978–1982 to 1995–1998. Among white women, the reported incidence rates for invasive serous, endometrioid, and clear cell tumors increased during 1978–1998, whereas the rates of mucinous; papillary, not otherwise specified (NOS); and other epithelial tumors declined. Among black women, the reported rates of papillary, NOS tumors decreased significantly, whereas the rates of other tumor types fluctuated. Incidence rates of borderline ovarian tumors were higher among white women compared with black women and did not change significantly during 1992–1998. Serous and mucinous tumors were the predominant tumors reported for women age < 45 years, whereas serous; papillary, NOS; and other epithelial tumors predominated among older women.

CONCLUSIONS

Incidence rates for malignant ovarian tumors have remained relatively stable, with higher rates for white women compared with black women. The reported rates for some specific histopathologic tumor types have changed over time, in part reflecting more specific pathologic classification. The possible effect of shifting exposure prevalence on incidence patterns warrants further study. Cancer 2002;95:2380–9. Published 2002 by the American Cancer Society.

DOI 10.1002/cncr.10935