• Women's Cancer Research Foundation

Women With Ovarian Cancer at Higher Risk for Mental Health Disorders



In a recent Utah Cancer Registry Study, Hu et al. (2021) reported that within two years of an ovarian cancer diagnosis, women may be at greater risk for anxiety, depressive and adjustment (increased stress in your life) disorders. Moreover, ovarian cancer survivors who had a mental health diagnosis demonstrated an 80% higher risk for mortality, compared to survivors without a mental health diagnosis. These results were presented at the April 2021 Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Survivors of ovarian cancer had a threefold greater risk for developing a mental illness within the first 2 years after their cancer diagnosis.

The study examined the incidence of and risk factors for mental health disorders among 1,689 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer between 1996 and 2012. The comparison group included 7,038 women without cancer in the general population, who were matched by age, birth state and follow-up time. According to the study results, survivors of ovarian cancer had a threefold greater risk for developing a mental illness within the first 2 years after their cancer diagnosis, compared to the general population. Factors associated with increased risk for any mental illness, included advanced-stage disease and increased number of years following a cancer diagnosis.

It is essential to promptly identify patients with ovarian cancer who may require psychological treatment.

The study findings underscore the importance of providing psychological support for patients after an ovarian cancer diagnosis and may provide new insight that potentially benefits and prolongs the quality of life for ovarian cancer survivors. Consequently, it is essential to promptly identify patients with ovarian cancer who may require psychological treatment, particularly since their mental health may fluctuate throughout the stages of diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.


About Women’s Cancer Research Foundation The Women’s Cancer Research Foundation (WCRF) is one of Southern California’s and the nation’s most active research organizations for female cancers. We are dedicated to serving the interests of patients, families, and friends affected by women’s cancers. WCRF partners with physician-scientists nationally to make differences in women’s lives by offering hope, strength, and progress.


Women’s Cancer Research Foundation (WCRF)

361 Hospital Road, Suite 422

Newport Beach, CA 92663


PH: (949) 642-5165


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