The ovaries are a pair of reproductive organs located deep in the pelvis of the female body; they contain the female gametes, the ova. As in many other organs, cancerous and benign tumors (neoplasms) can arise there, but most are malignant. Such tumors are distinct from ovarian cysts, although some ovarian neoplasms may have cystic features.
Ovarian tumors can originate from many of the cell types found in the ovaries, and the cell of origin has a significant effect on how the tumor behaves. Up to 8% of women will present with ovarian masses in their lifetime. The incidence of ovarian cancer is 13 women per 100,000 per year (compared with breast cancer’s incidence of 124/100,000), and about 22,000 new cases are diagnosed annually in the United States. In malignant form, ovarian tumors are a deadly form of cancer—the most common cause of cancer death from gynecologic malignancy in the United States.
After listening to this AudioBrick, you should be able to:
- Describe the clinical presentation of the most common types of ovarian tumors.
- List the various types of ovarian tumors and classify them by epithelial, sex cord stromal, germ cell, non-neoplastic, or metastatic.
- Compare and contrast the clinicopathologic features of the major types of ovarian tumors.
- Describe the diagnosis and treatment of ovarian tumors, including the use of tumor markers.
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