Gynecologic cancer | Ovarian Cancer

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 What is ovarian cancer?

 Cyndee, Pennsylvania, USA: Ovarian cancer is a malignant tumor that can begin in one or both ovaries. These tumors are made of abnormal cells that divide and create additional cells at a much faster rate than normal cells. These abnormal cells can then invade surrounding tissue and/or travel to other areas of the body. I found some really good information about ovarian cancer on the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition web site at

 What are the different types of ovarian cancer?

 There are over thirty variants of ovarian cancer, which are divided into three major categories, distinguished by cell type.

The first and most common category is epithelial tumors, which originate from cells on the outside or inside surface of the ovaries. These are divided into subtypes which include serous, endometrioid, mucinous, and clear cell tumors. Included in this category are "Low Malignant Potential" (referred to as "LMP") tumors which are not as invasive as many of the other epithelial tumors.

Germ cell tumors (the second category) are not as common; they involve the cells which produce eggs. These tumors are seen more often in younger women.

The third grouping is the sex cord-stromal cell tumors, which originate in the connective cells that hold the ovaries together and also produce hormones. Like germ cell tumors, these are also not as common as the epithelial types.

This is a brief overview, based on information found in the Ovarian Cancer section at Oncology World, where much more detail is available.

 How rare is ovarian cancer?

 Cyndee, Pennsylvania, USA: From the reading I have done on ovarian cancer, I've learned that ovarian cancer is the second most common and one of the most deadly of all gynecological cancers in the United States. One in every fifty-five women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in my country. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 23,400 new cases and 13,900 deaths in 2001.You can find a lot of information at the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition web site.

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