Women have two ovaries, one on each side of the pelvis. The ovaries produce eggs. They are also the chief source of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. Ovarian cancer accounts for 3 percent of all cancers among women and ranks fourth as a cause of deaths from cancer. Some tumors in the ovaries are benign, or non cancerous, and can be cured by surgically removing one ovary or the part of the ovary containing the tumor. Some tumors are malignant or cancerous, treatment options depend on the type of ovarian cancer and how far it has spread.
There are three main types of ovarian tumors, Epithelial Tumors, Germ Cell Tumors and Stromal Tumors. Epithelial ovarian tumors develop from the cells that cover the ovary. Most epithelial ovarian tumors are non cancerous but cancerous epithelial tumors are deadly. These are the most common and most lethal of all types of ovarian cancers, almost 70 percent of women with the epithelial ovarian cancer are not diagnosed until the disease is advanced in stage.
Ovarian germ cell tumors develop from the cells that produce the ova or eggs. Some germ cell tumors are cancerous and may be life threatening. Germ cell cancer occurs most often in teenagers and women in their twenties. Today, 90 percent of patients with ovarian germ cell malignancies can be cured and their fertility preserved. Ovarian stromal tumors start from connective tissue cells that hold the ovary together and make the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone. These tumors are quite rare and are usually considered low-grade cancer. More then half of this type of ovary cancer is found in women over age 50.
Other sources of information for these topics.
The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition
What is Ovarian Cancer? An overview of the various forms of Ovarian Cancer
with links to ... What is the general outlook for Ovarian Cancer patients? ...
MedlinePlus: Ovarian Cancer
What You Need to Know about Ovarian Cancer (National Cancer Institute) ...
Ovarian Cancer: Treatment Guidelines for Patients (American Cancer Society) ...
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