Regional women more likely to die of ovarian cancer: study

A SEVEN-YEAR research study has revealed women living in regional Australia are at higher risk of dying from ovarian cancer than their city counterparts.

The report, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, tracked the medical journey of 1192 woman who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2005.

It found just 35% lived for five years after diagnosis.

But women who survived the first two years had a 53% survival rate for a further five years.

Researchers also found those living in regional and remote areas of the state were 20% more likely to die during the study than those in metropolitan areas.

Cancer Council spokeswoman Katie Clift said on Monday more research needed to be conducted to determine why this gap exists.

"When looking at geographic disparities in cancer survival for all cancers we do know that distance is a barrier to treatment," she said.

"There are a number of possible explanations for the survival disparity, such as differences in the management of individual patients, reduced access to health care and diagnostic or screening services, and differences in cancer risk factors such as smoking, diet, alcohol consumption and physical activity."

Ms Clift said addressing the survival disparity for all cancers required a joint commitment on the part of governments, health service providers, community organisations and individuals.

"At the individual level, regional people can do three things to reduce their risks of all cancers," she said.

"Firstly, make healthy lifestyle changes and follow screening recommendations, secondly, do not let distance be a barrier to immediately seeing a GP if symptoms arise, and thirdly, comply with treatment recommendations." - APN Newsdesk.