Oncology & Cancer

Ovarian cancer cells cooperate to metastasize

Any given tumor is composed of a multitude of cell types that can each look or behave differently from its neighbors. An emerging body of research suggests that these differences can influence disease progression or the way ...

Oncology & Cancer

Blood test predicts ovarian cancer better than previously thought

A blood test already available to GPs in the UK is more predictive of ovarian cancer than previously thought and could also help pick up other forms of cancer, according to new research published in PLOS Medicine today (Wednesday) ...

Oncology & Cancer

Technology shines the light on ovarian cancer treatments

Scientists estimate that nearly 60% of all cancer patients do not respond effectively to chemotherapy treatments. Even worse—many of those same patients experience toxic and sometimes deadly side effects.

Oncology & Cancer

Women may conceive after ovarian tumors

Women receiving fertility-sparing surgery for treatment of borderline ovarian tumors were able to have children, a study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in Fertility & Sterility shows. Natural fertility was ...

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Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is a cancerous growth arising from different parts of the ovary.

The most common form of ovarian cancer (≥80%) arises from the outer lining (epithelium) of the ovary. Other forms arise from the egg cells (germ cell tumor).

In 2004, 25,580 new cases were diagnosed and 16,090 women died of ovarian cancer. The risk increases with age and decreases with pregnancy. Lifetime risk is about 1.6%, but women with affected first-degree relatives have a 5% risk. Women with a mutated BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene have a 25% risk. Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of death from cancer in women and the leading cause of death from gynecological cancer.

10-year relative survival ranges from 84.1% in stage IA to 10.4% in stage IIIC.

Ovarian cancer causes non-specific symptoms, which contribute to diagnostic delay, resulting in a late stage and a poor prognosis. Most women with ovarian cancer report one or more symptoms such as abdominal pain or discomfort, an abdominal mass, bloating, back pain, urinary urgency, constipation, tiredness and a range of other non-specific symptoms, as well as more specific symptoms such as pelvic pain, abnormal vaginal bleeding or involuntary weight loss. There can be a build-up of fluid in the abdominal cavity (this is called ascites).

An abnormal physical examination (including a pelvic examination), a blood test (for CA-125, more specifically) or medical imaging studies can provide evidence leading to an ovarian cancer diagnosis. The diagnosis can be confirmed with a surgical procedure (open or keyhole surgery) to inspect the abdominal cavity, take biopsies (tissue samples for microscopic analysis) and look for cancer cells in the abdominal fluid. Treatment usually involves chemotherapy and surgery, and sometimes radiotherapy.

In most cases, the cause of ovarian cancer remains unknown. Older women, and in those who have a first or second degree relative with the disease, have an increased risk. Hereditary forms of ovarian cancer can be caused by mutations in specific genes (most notably BRCA1 and BRCA2, but also in genes for hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer). Infertile women and those with a condition called endometriosis, those who have never been pregnant and those who use postmenopausal estrogen replacement therapy are at increased risk. Use of oral contraceptive pills is a protective factor. The risk is also lower in women who have had their uterine tubes blocked surgically (tubal ligation).

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA