Ovarian cancer

Cancer - ovaries

Ovarian cancer is cancer that starts in the ovaries. The ovaries are the female reproductive organs that produce eggs.

Female reproductive anatomy

External structures of the female reproductive anatomy include the labium minora and majora, the vagina and the clitoris. Internal structures include the uterus, ovaries and cervix.

Ascites with ovarian cancer, CT scan

This CT scan of the lower abdomen shows a massive amount of free abdominal fluid (ascites) in a patient with ovarian cancer.

Peritoneal and ovarian cancer, CT scan

A CT scan series of the lower abdomen showing ovarian cancer that has metastasized (spread) to the peritoneum.

Ovarian cancer dangers

Ovarian cancer is particularly dangerous because its presence is difficult to detect until it has spread beyond the ovaries.

Ovarian growth worries

Prior to menopause, a mass on the ovary that is smaller than 2 centimeters is probably a follicle cyst that will go away on its own. However, if the growth is larger and doesn't go away over the course of a few menstrual cycles, then it may need to be removed.

Uterus

The uterus is a hollow muscular organ located in the female pelvis between the bladder and rectum. The ovaries produce the eggs that travel through the fallopian tubes. Once the egg has left the ovary it can be fertilized and implant itself in the lining of the uterus. The main function of the uterus is to nourish the developing fetus prior to birth.

Ovarian cancer

Cancer of the ovaries is considered very dangerous because the ovaries are in close proximity to many other abdominal organs and the risk of metastasis is high.

Ovarian cancer metastasis

A malignant neoplasm (abnormal growth) located on the ovaries.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Support Groups

Outlook (Prognosis)

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention