Ovarian Cancer News

Most types of ovarian cancer begin in the epithelium, which is a layer of tissue that lines the ovaries. These are called epithelial tumors. Germ cell carcinomas, which begin in the cells that make eggs, and stromal carcinoma tumors, which start in the connective tissue of the ovaries, are also common types of ovarian cancer.

The ovaries are a critical part of a woman’s reproductive system, producing female hormones as well as eggs. Ovarian cancer is not the most common cancer, but it does rank 10th on the list of cancers that women get and fifth in cancer-related deaths .

Causes and Symptoms

Researchers aren’t sure what causes ovarian cancer, but there are some factors that appear to increase risk. Things like have a family history of cancer, having had cancer previously and being older all lead to a higher ovarian cancer risk. Women who were never pregnant or have used hormonal therapy for menopause also seem to run a greater risk of developing ovarian cancer.

At first, ovarian cancer may not present symptoms. But as it progresses, symptoms might include fatigue as well as pain, pressure or swelling in the abdomen and pelvis and shortness of breath. Digestive issues such as constipation, diarrhea, nausea and bloating are also common.

Treatment of Ovarian Cancer

The primary treatments for ovarian cancer are surgery to remove an ovary or part of an ovary, as well as chemotherapy to kill cancer cells in the surrounding tissue. Radiation therapy is not used as frequently to treat ovarian cancer as it is for some other forms of cancer.

SOURCES: U.S. National Cancer Institute; Ovarian Cancer National Alliance

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Beating Ovarian Cancer

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Plant-based diet could help avoid malignancies, study suggests

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Researchers move 'a step forward,' assessing DNA fragments for colon, breast, ovarian and lung tumors

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Test isn't accurate enough to justify its use, experts say

Genetic Mutations and Cancer

Estimating the absolute risk of breast and ovarian cancer among carriers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic mutations

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British researchers zero in on genetic links between early puberty and increased cancer risk

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Study finds prognosis may have some surprising influences

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Half of breast cancer patients who had both breasts removed unsure of genetic risk of more cancers: study

Many Women Who Get Breast Cancer Gene Test Don't Need It

6 out of 10 screened weren't at high risk for the disease, researchers say

Zejula Approved for Certain Female Cancers

Drug may help fight tumors affecting the ovaries, fallopian tubes or abdominal wall

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Findings emphasize the importance of counseling these women, before and during pregnancy

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Digestive organs may be hardest hit by too much weight, study suggests

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Older age, family history raise the odds for this potentially deadly disease

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Rubraca's use is specific to women with a mutation of the BRCA gene, FDA said

Sexual Pain for Women With Cancer Should Not Be Overlooked: Report

Doctors should rule out physical causes before declaring discomfort is all in a patient's head, specialist says

Does Baby Powder Cause Ovarian Cancer?

Leading cancer and women's health groups say probably not

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Because early signs are often easy to ignore, 140,000 women worldwide die of the disease every year

FDA Warns Ovarian Cancer Tests Not Reliable

May delay preventive therapies for high-risk women, spur unnecessary procedures in some without cancer

Are Birth Control Pills Tied to Decline in Ovarian Cancer Deaths?

Rates down 16 percent in U.S., 8 percent in Canada, and 10 percent in Europe over a decade: study

Excess Weight Tied to Higher Risk for Many Cancers, Experts Say

International committee finds thinner folks less likely to develop variety of malignancies

Gene Tied to Breast Cancer Raises Uterine Cancer Risk Too

Women with BRCA1 may want to consider preventive removal of uterus, researcher says

Exercise May Help Thwart Ovarian Cancer

Chronic inactivity linked to greater risk for the disease in study

Female Reproductive Tract Not a Sterile Environment, Study Finds

Researchers also found different microbes in women with ovarian cancer

Two-Pronged Chemo Helps Some With Advanced Ovarian Cancer

Study found using both abdomen drip and IV delayed progression of disease

1 in 5 Ovarian Cancer Patients Doesn't Get Life-Extending Surgery: Study

Advanced age, disease were predictors for receiving only chemo, radiation or nothing at all

Widely Used Type 2 Diabetes Drug May Reduce Cancer Death Risk

Older women taking metformin saw a boost in survival, study suggests

Gene Tests May Help Predict Outcomes in Advanced Ovarian Cancer

Women with mutations in some 'DNA repair' genes may survive much longer, research shows

Ovarian Cancer Is More Than One Disease: Report

Better understanding needed to improve prevention, detection, treatment, U.S. panel notes

Is Type 1 Diabetes Linked to Raised Risk of Certain Cancers?

Study suggests, but doesn't prove, that odds increase for some types of tumors, but drop for others

Annual Blood Test Might Help Prevent Deaths From Ovarian Cancer

Analyzing results over time can detect harmful changes, study suggests

Healthy Diet May Lower Black Women's Risk of Ovarian Cancer

Preventing the disease is key, researchers say, since tumors often spotted too late for a cure

Study Links Having Children to Lower Ovarian Cancer Risk

Women who've had their tubes tied also seemed to be protected

Too Few Women Get Counseling Before Breast Cancer Gene Test: Study

But outside expert questions whether counseling may be more important after test comes back positive

Screening All Women for Breast Cancer Genes Not Feasible: Study

Price of genetic tests would have to drop 90 percent to be cost-effective, researcher says

Blood Pressure Drugs Linked to Longer Ovarian Cancer Survival

But researchers say clinical trials needed to prove older beta blockers lengthen life in these patients

Broader Gene Tests for Breast, Ovarian Cancer Might Benefit Some: Study

Women who don't have BRCA mutations could have other high-risk genes that affect treatment choices

1 in 3 Women Survive Ovarian Cancer a Decade or More: Study

Many of these patients even had 'high-risk' disease that lowered odds of a good prognosis