Angel Walker

Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Academic Program

Biological Sciences BS


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Tanya Funchess, D.H.A., M.P.H., M.S.M.

Advisor Department

Community Health Sciences


Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in women, accounting for more deaths than any other gynecologic cancer (Arora et al., 2023). Over the past few decades, there have been several advancements in treating the disease. However, improvements in survival rates for ovarian cancer are not seen equally among women. For White women, the five-year survival rate for ovarian cancer has improved, while for Black women, it has worsened (Karanth et al., 2019). To further understand how ovarian cancer affects women, we aim to describe the trends of ovarian cancer incidence and mortality for White and Black populations in Mississippi, where currently no studies examining ovarian cancer disparities exist. Utilizing the Mississippi Cancer Registry and the National Cancer Institute Joinpoint Linear Regression Analysis Software, we estimate the annual age-standardized rates per 100,000 of ovarian cancer incidence and mortality across race, sex, and geographic locations from 2003 to 2020. Geographic locations were determined based on Appalachian Mississippi, non-Appalachian Mississippi, Delta (not including DeSoto County), and non-Delta (including DeSoto County). Results showcased ovarian cancer incidence being the highest among White women in Mississippi, yet Black women disproportionally dying at higher rates from the disease. Results also showcased ovarian cancer incidence and mortality rates decreasing substantially for Black and White women in all geolocations, with exception for mortality rates in the Delta for White women. Further studies are needed to determine potential contributors so that ovarian cancer disparities can be addressed in Mississippi,