Cancer begins when cells begin to develop out of control in the body. Cells can become cancer in almost every part of the body and can spread.
It has traditionally been thought that ovarian cancers originate only in the ovaries. Still, recent research indicates that many ovarian cancers may actually begin in the cells at the far (distal) end of the fallopian tubes.
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Some Key figures
The following observations have been found in recent research:
- A new diagnosis of ovarian cancer will be obtained by about 21,750 people.
- There will be about 13,940 women dying from ovarian cancer.
- As far as cancer deaths among women are concerned, ovarian cancer ranks fifth, which is way above any other female reproductive system cancer.
- The chance of a woman developing ovarian cancer is around 1 in 78 over her lifetime.
- Her risk of dying from ovarian cancer in her lifetime is around 1 in 108. (Low malignant potential ovarian tumors are not included in these statistics.)
In older women, this cancer usually tends to grow more. About half the women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are 63 years of age or older. But the positive news is that, over the past 20 years, the rate at which women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer has been steadily decreasing.
Overview of ovary tumor
Ovaries are mostly made up of 3 cell types. Each cell type may grow into a different tumor type:
- Cells that cover the outer surface of the ovary are the starting point for epithelial tumors. Epithelial cell tumors are the bulk of ovarian tumors.
- Germ cell tumors start from the eggs (ova) producing cells.
- Stromal tumors evolve from structural tissue cells. Some of these are benign (non-cancerous) tumors that never spread outwards of the ovary.
- Ovarian tumors that are malignant (cancerous) or borderline (low malignant potential) can spread (metastasize) to other body parts and can be fatal.
Ovarian epithelial tumors
Tumors of the epithelial ovaries begin on the outer surface of the ovaries. Benign (not cancer), borderline (low malignant potential), or malignant (cancer) maybe these tumors.
Ovarian benign epithelial tumors
Benign epithelial ovarian tumors do not spread and typically do not lead to severe illness. There are many types of benign epithelial tumors, such as serous cystadenomas, Brenner tumors, and mucinous cystadenomas.
Borderline Epithelial Tumors
Some ovarian epithelial tumors do not explicitly appear to be cancerous when looked at in the laboratory and are known as borderline ovarian epithelial cancer. The two most prevalent types are as follows:
- Atypical proliferative serous carcinoma and
- Atypical proliferative mucinous carcinoma
These tumors have historically been labeled tumors with low malignant potential (LMP).
They are distinct from traditional ovarian cancers because the ovary’s supporting tissue (called the ovarian stroma) does not develop into them. For example, if they spread into the abdominal cavity (belly) outside the ovary, they could develop on the lining of the abdomen but not into it.
Borderline tumors are more likely than traditional ovarian cancers to affect younger people. These tumors are slow to develop and are less life-threatening than most cancers of the ovary.
Epithelial malignant ovarian tumors
Carcinomas are named cancerous epithelial tumors. Epithelial ovarian carcinomas are from 85 percent to 90 percent of malignant ovarian cancers. These tumor cells have many characteristics that can be used to distinguish ovarian epithelial carcinomas into various forms (when looked at in the laboratory). The serous type is the most prevalent by far and may include high and low grades tumors. Mucinous, endometrioid, and transparent cells are the other predominant forms.
- Serous carcinomas (52%)
- Clear cell carcinoma (6%)
- Mucinous carcinoma (6%)
- Endometrioid carcinoma (10%)
A Quick Overview
Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that affects the ovaries, which are the female reproductive organs responsible for producing eggs. It is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in women and the most common cancer in women over the age of 50.
Symptoms The symptoms of ovarian cancer can be vague and non-specific, making it difficult to diagnose. Some of the common symptoms include abdominal bloating, pelvic pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and urinary urgency or frequency.
Risk Factors Several factors can increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer, including a family history of the disease, carrying certain genetic mutations, and a history of infertility or endometriosis.
Diagnosis Diagnosing ovarian cancer involves a physical examination, blood tests, imaging studies, and a biopsy. Early detection is crucial for successful treatment.
Treatment Treatment options for ovarian cancer depend on the stage and extent of cancer. Surgery to remove the ovaries and surrounding tissue is the primary treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also be used to treat advanced-stage ovarian cancer.
Prevention There is no sure way to prevent ovarian cancer, but taking certain steps can help reduce the risk. These include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and using birth control pills for at least five years.
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