Women today are far more likely to survive ovarian cancer than their mothers’ would have been.

After comparing the survival rate of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer between 1975 and 2011, researchers found that women diagnosed in 2006 or later were 50% less likely to die from the disease than those diagnosed in 1975.

The survival rate has improved for women with all stages of ovarian cancer, according to Dr. Jason Wright, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. He led the study that looked at medical histories of 50,000 women diagnosed over 36 years.Melanoma-CT-Scan-NewEnglandJournalofMedicine

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“They’re living with the disease for longer and longer periods of time as we have new chemotherapies, new drugs, new way to deliver drugs for ovarian cancer,” Dr. Wright told CBS News.

He also credits improvements in early detection of the disease, which isn’t always easy.African-Am-black-lab-worker-teen-Kevin Stonewall-IntelVideo

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Ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose in the early stages and has a high recurrence rate, but new research is beginning to change that, allowing doctors to treat the disease earlier.

The study was published in the June issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

(WATCH the CBS News video below)  Photo: ReSurge International, CC

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