Ovarian Tumors

The ovaries are small organs that help regulate the reproductive processes in women. Most women are born with two ovaries – one on each side of the uterus. As the ovaries mature during adolescence, they begin producing hormones and regulating menstruation. The ovaries frequently develop cysts, most of which are non-threatening. However, some women develop ovarian tumors, which may not always be as benign as simple cysts. Tumors require further examination and possible intervention.
Did you know…
There are many types of ovarian tumors. In some cases, these tumors can turn out to be ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer often produces few symptoms in its earliest stages. There are several factors that may contribute to the chances of getting ovarian cancer. Age and family history, as well as obesity and the use of fertility drugs, can all contribute to your chances of developing ovarian cancer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is my risk for ovarian cancer?
Ovarian cancer has a lifetime risk of about 1 in 78 for women, according to the American Cancer Society. Routine screening is not recommended as ovaries are difficult to assess directly. Screening is typically based on family history, particularly BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 genes. If you have a family history, it's important to get checked for these genes, especially before age 40. Screening should be done in consultation with your healthcare provider, who can provide personalized guidance based on your medical and family history. If you have concerns about ovarian cancer risk, discuss them with your healthcare provider for further evaluation and management.
What are the common risk factors associated with ovarian cancer?
Common risk factors for ovarian cancer include a family history of ovarian, breast, or colon cancer, a personal history of breast or colon cancer, the presence of certain gene mutations (such as BRCA1 and BRCA2), increasing age, never being pregnant or having a first pregnancy after the age of 35, use of estrogen-only hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for a long duration, and a history of endometriosis.
What are the warning signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer that I should watch out for?
Warning signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer may include abdominal bloating or swelling, pelvic or abdominal pain, feeling full quickly or difficulty eating, changes in bowel or bladder habits (such as increased urgency or frequency), unexplained weight loss, fatigue, and changes in the menstrual cycle. However, it's important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions and may not necessarily indicate ovarian cancer.