Ovarian Cancer Overview

Ovarian cancer is the 7th most common cancer in women globally, and the least survivable of all women’s cancers.

There is no screening test. Most women are diagnosed at stage 3, when the cancer has spread beyond the ovary into the abdomen.

‘Ovarian Cancer’ includes cancer of the ovary, fallopian tube and peritoneum (lining of the stomach).

There are over 30 different types of ovarian cancer. They all have similar signs and symptoms but they affect people of different ages, and respond differently to treatments.

Click on the button below to learn more about the signs, symptoms and diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

Signs, Symptoms and Diagnosis

Low-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer

Low-grade serous ovarian cancer is the 4th most common type of ovarian cancer.

It's a unique cancer in it's own right. Though it's "rare" up to 200 000 people are currently living with low-grade serous ovarian cancer around the world, right now.

You might be thinking "low-grade" - that sounds good. But actually it doesn't refer to the seriousness of the cancer at all. It's a medical term which essentially means the cancer cells look similar to normal healthy cells. You could say low-grade serous cancer is a wolf in sheep's clothing. When cancer and healthy cells are similar it makes it very difficult to kill the cancer cells and not the healthy cells keeping people alive.

In addition to being very tricky to treat, low-grade serous ovarian cancer on average affects people twenty years younger than ovarian cancer in general. That means many people are in their thirties, or forties and even their twenties and teens. But the average survival is just ten years. Not long enough.


Researchers are working hard to improve the survival of women with ovarian cancer - investigating ways to diagnose it earlier, and treat it better.

BC Cancer Researchers in their laboratory

Pictured - Dr Carey (left) and his team at BC Cancer are world experts at making low-grade serous cancer research models for drug testing

But… research funding isn’t very fair. Most government and organisations that fund research, first rank cancers applications based on how common they are. Imagine if at school you had to get A+ to pass, while everyone else just needed to get a B or C. That’s how the research funding system works.

This means that a project on ovarian cancer has to have a lot better science than a project on prostate cancer to get funding. And even when the research fund is for ovarian cancer… almost all the funding goes to the most common ovarian cancer… with little left for other types like low-grade serous cancer.

Thankfully, the researchers working on low-grade serous are extraordinarily smart people who thrive on adversity and are absolutely committed to improving the lives of women living with this cancer.

And the women with this cancer are equally passionate and determined. Not only do they live with cancer, and all of the tough stuff that comes with it. They are out there - fighting alongside us for funding to improve their survival.

Lexi Mestas shaving her head

Since her diagnosis with stage 4 low-grade serous cancer in 2021, Lexi has raised over $50000 for research

Helped by the reassurance that Cure Our Ovarian Cancer has partnerships with world class research organisations and researchers to fund the best research possible.

And progress is being made. Just this year, low-grade serous ovarian cancer had it's first positive randomised clinical trial result. We don't yet have all the answers, but we are getting there.

Which is where you come in. Because the reality is, we can’t do this on our own. Your support can make a huge difference to women living with low-grade serous ovarian cancer.

Please donate today to give hope to those who need it most.