Ovarian cancer is the common cause of death among women with gynecologic malignancies characterized by cancerous growth arising from different parts of ovary, usually from outer lining of ovary. Ovarian cancer occurs when a tumor forms in one or both of ovaries. Ovaries are pair of small organs located in lower abdomen (pelvis) and on either side of womb (uterus). These ovaries release eggs and also female hormones, estrogen and progesterone.
Ovarian cancer is categorized into following three types based upon the type of cells from which they formed:
• Epithelial cancer - this arises from cells lining or covering of ovaries. This is the most common type of cancer.
• Germ cell cancer - this arises from germ cells within the ovaries.
• Sex cord - stromal cancers- this begins in the cells that holds ovaries together and produce hormones.
There are four stages of ovarian cancer:
Stage 1- cancer is found in one or both ovaries,
• Stage 1A - earliest form and cancer is present only in one ovary.
• Stage 1B - cancer is present in both ovaries but no cancer cells are seen on outer surfaces ovaries, abdomen or pelvis.
• Stage 1C - cancer is present in either one or both the ovaries but cancer cells may also be present on outer surface of both ovaries and tissue samples of abdomen.
• Stage 2 - in this cancer is present in one or both ovaries and has spread to other parts of pelvic region.
• Stage 2A - cancer has spread to uterus or fallopian tubes.
• Stage2B - cancer has spread to bladder, rectum or sigmoid colon.
• Stage 2C - cancer has spread to uterus, fallopian tube, bladder, rectum or sigmoid colon and also to tissue and fluid samples of lining of abdominal activity.
• Stage 3 - in this stage cancer is found in one or both ovaries and has spread to abdomen.
• Stage 3A - cancer has spread to small part of abdomen.
• Stage 3B - cancer has spread to peritoneum in an amount < 2cms.
• Stage 3C - cancer has spread to peritoneum in an amount >2cms.
• Stage 4 - in this stage cancer has spread to other parts of body like liver or lungs
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