In Stage IV ovarian cancer, the cancer cells have spread to tissues outside the abdomen and pelvis. Cancer cells may be found inside the spleen, the liver, in the lungs and in other organs located outside the peritoneal cavity.

  • Stage IVA: Cancer cells are found in the fluid around the lungs (this is called a malignant pleural effusion) with no other areas of cancer spread outside the pelvis or peritoneal cavity.
  • Stage IVB: Cancer has spread to the inside of the spleen or liver, to lymph nodes besides the retroperitoneal lymph nodes, and/or to other organs or tissues outside the peritoneal cavity. This includes the lungs, the brain, and the skin.

Prognosis & Survival Rates

For all types of ovarian cancer taken together, about 3 in 4 women with ovarian cancer live for at least 1 year after diagnosis. Almost half (46%) of women with ovarian cancer are still alive at least 5 years after diagnosis. Women diagnosed when they are younger than 65 do better than older women.

Most women diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer have a five-year survival rate of approximately 17%. Survival rates are often based on studies of large numbers of people, but they can’t predict what will happen in any particular person’s case. Other factors impact a woman’s prognosis, including her general health, the grade of the cancer, and how well the cancer responds to treatment.

StageRelative 5-Year Survival Rate
Source: American Cancer Society


Treatment for Stage IV ovarian cancer will consist of surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible, followed by combination chemotherapy.