The two ovaries inside a woman are where her eggs develop. Cancer of the ovary occurs most often between the ages of 40 and 65 years, but can occur in younger women. It is much more common in some families than others. There are many different types of ovarian cancer. Many produce no symptoms until the disease produces excess fluid within the abdomen (ascites). Some types of ovarian cancer produce sex hormones, and it is the effects of these that are first noticed. Rare types of ovarian cancer occur in children.
Cancer of the ovary caused 0.2% of all deaths worldwide in 2002, an average of 22 deaths per million people per year and 2% of all deaths from cancer.