The ovaries are a pair of organs in the female reproductive system. They are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus (the hollow, pear-shaped organ where a fetus grows). Each ovary is about the size and shape of an almond and becomes smaller through atrophy after menopause occurs. The ovaries produce eggs and female hormones (chemicals that control the way certain cells or organs function).
Ovarian cancer forms in the tissues of the ovary or the fallopian tube. Most ovarian cancers are either ovarian epithelial carcinomas that begin in the cells from the fallopian tube or from the surface of the ovary. Cancers that arise from the peritoneal surface, called "peritoneal cancers," are treated identically to ovarian cancer and fallopian tube cancer. Malignant germ cell tumors that are much more rare begin in egg cells. Early-stage ovarian cancer can often be cured.
Risk factors for ovarian cancer can include:
The signs and symptoms for ovarian cancer can include:
Learn details about how we diagnose ovarian cancer.
Treatment options include:
Learn details about how we treat ovarian cancer.
Your prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options depend on the following:
Next: How We Diagnose Ovarian Cancer
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