Author Topic: What is ovarian cancer?  (Read 2221 times)

Offline Tony

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What is ovarian cancer?
« on: October 01, 2012, 07:01:38 AM »
What is ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer starts in the cells of the ovary or ovaries. The ovaries are two small, oval-shaped organs that lie deep in the pelvis on either side of the uterus (womb), close to the end of the Fallopian tubes. The ovaries are part of the female reproductive system.

Each month, in women of childbearing age, one of the ovaries releases an egg (ovum). This is called ovulation. The egg travels down the Fallopian tube to the uterus, where it may be fertilized by a sperm and develop into a fetus. If the egg is not fertilized, it is shed as part of your monthly period.

The ovaries also produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone help control reproduction and sexual development. As a woman ages and reaches menopause, the ovaries make less of these hormones and periods gradually stop.

There are three main types of ovarian cancer. For each type, the cancer starts in a different type of cell found in the ovaries.

  • Epithelial cell cancer starts in the cells that cover the outer surface of the ovary.
  • Germ cell tumours start in the egg cells within the ovary and generally occur in younger women. Germ cell cancer can even develop in children.
  • Stromal tumours start in the connective tissue cells that hold the ovary together.

More information on ovarian cancer in the Canadian Cancer Encyclopedia

Epithelial cell cancer is the most common type of ovarian cancer. Ovarian germ cell tumours and stromal tumours develop differently and may require different treatment. For information about other types of ovarian cancer, call the Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333 or by email Contact The Cancer Society..

« Last Edit: October 01, 2012, 09:40:33 AM by Tony »

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