About Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer traditionally has been thought to begin in one or both of the ovaries. Current research is suggesting that ovarian cancer actually may begin in the fallopian tubes; however, researchers are continuing to investigate this theory.
The ovaries are the female reproductive glands that consist of three types of cells:
- Epithelial cells cover the ovaries
- Germ cells are inside the ovaries and develop into eggs for reproduction
- Stromal cells form the structural tissue of the ovaries and produce hormones
When these cells in the ovaries grow abnormally, they develop into tumors that either can be non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). If cancerous tumors are not detected early, they can spread from the ovaries throughout the pelvic region as well as continue to spread to the abdominal area and other organs. The most common form of ovarian cancer begins in the epithelial cells.
Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer
Risk factors for ovarian cancer can include:
- Genetic predisposition
- BRCA 1 or 2 (BReast CAncer) gene mutation
- Lynch syndrome
- Family history of ovarian cancer or breast cancer in a:
- First degree relative (parent, sibling or child)
- Second degree relative (aunt/uncle, grandparent, niece/nephew or grandchild
Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer >