Common Symptoms of Having Ovarian Cancer

Although when the term ovarian cancer is mentioned, not many women actually realize that there are several different types, all which arise from the cells of the ovary. These typically include: epithelial ovarian cancer (including borderline), fallopian tube cancer, and primary peritoneal cancer.

Most tumors tend to arise are from the epithelium, or the lining cells of the ovary, although there are also some less common types of tumor that exist as well (those that arise from the ovary itself). Two such types are: germ cell tumors, and sex cord-stromal tumors.

Epithelial Ovarian Cancer (EOC) –develops from various cells on the surface of the ovary, and usually accounts for around 70% of all diagnosed cases. Making epithelial ovarian cancer the most commonly diagnosed in women to date.

Depending on the type of cell that caused the cancer, it can be generally thought of as being one of three: ovarian, fallopian tube, and primary peritoneal cancer. All which have similar behavioral patterns, and where all are treated in the same way.

There are four common types of cell that cause epithelial ovarian cancer: endometrioid, clear cell, mucinous, and serous. Of the four, serous is the most commonly diagnosed, and is believed to develop due to DNA changes within the body (as are the other three).

However, recent research now indicates that contrary to previous belief, many of these cancers may actually begin in the lining of the fallopian tube, and not the lining on the surface of the ovary (no reliable information is available to back-up this claim).

Borderline Ovarian Cancer –is a type of epithelial ovarian cancer that accounts for around 10% of all diagnosed cases. Borderline is considered to be less common, and where serous or mucinous cell are present (consists of large masses [tumors], although rarely have they metastasized [spread]).

Even when this is the case (including when the cancer is at a more advanced stage) it can usually be cured through surgical staging (information is used to determine whether or not the cancer has metastasized, and to what degree through surgical findings).

Germ Cell Ovarian Cancer – is the least common of all, accounting for a mea 2% of all diagnosed cases. Germ cell tumors usually arise from the ovary’s reproductive cells, and include: embryonal carcinomas, dysgerminomas, immature teratomas, non-gestational choriocarcinomas, mixed germ cell tumors, polyembryomas, and yolk sac tumors.

Stromal Ovarian Cancer –also known as sex cord-stromal tumors, usually develops from the ovary’s supporting tissue cells, and accounts for between 5% – 8% of cases. It is considered to be much less common than other epithelial cancer types.

Risk Factors –are related to both ovulation (menstrual cycles), and family history. The more a woman ovulates throughout her lifetime, from menarche (the start of ovulation at a young age) through to the menopause (the ending of ovulation), the more at risk of being diagnosed with one type or another of ovarian cancer.


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