Receiving a diagnosis of ovarian cancer is a nightmare for most patients. After times of uncertainty, you finally know what it is, but for most diagnosed patients, it is just the beginning of more uncertain times. After the diagnosis, you’ll get more and more tests, and, if possible, you’ve to start treatment immediately. Ovarian cancer is a serious health issue, but it’s not as common as some other types of cancer in the United States. Still, it’s a big concern for women. Almost every year there are about 20,000 new cases, and around 13,500 people died from it.
What Is Ovarian Cancer?
Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that begins in a woman’s ovaries, which are small, almond-sized organs located in the lower abdomen. The ovaries have a crucial role in the female reproductive system. They produce eggs and also release hormones like estrogen and progesterone. There are different types, and they can behave differently. To make it easier to understand we’ve put them in the following overview:
|Type of Ovarian Cancer||Description|
|Epithelial Ovarian Cancer||This is the most common type, originating in the tissue covering the ovaries. It includes several subtypes, such as serous, endometrioid, clear cell, and mucinous ovarian cancer.|
|Germ Cell Tumors||These cancers develop from the egg-producing cells within the ovaries. Germ cell tumors are less common than epithelial ovarian cancer and often affect younger women.|
|Stromal Tumors||Stromal tumors begin in the hormone-producing cells of the ovary, which help regulate female hormones like estrogen and progesterone. These tumors are rare and can cause hormonal imbalances.|
How Is This Type of Cancer Caused?
This type of cancer typically starts when normal cells in the ovaries undergo genetic changes, causing them to grow and divide uncontrollably. These abnormal cells can form tumors within the ovaries. Ovarian cancer is a complex disease, and its exact cause isn’t always clear. Continue reading on the next page, and find information about how you can recognize this type of cancer and when you’re at risk of getting it.