Ovarian Tumor

The ovaries are important female organs that are responsible for producing hormones that aid development and fertility. Ovarian tumors are common and can be found in women of all ages, though they are rare in children and the elderly.

Ovarian tumors can be categorized as:
  1. Functional ovarian cyst.
  2. Benign ovarian tumor, such as dermoid cyst, endometriotic cyst, or chocolate cyst.
  3. Malignant ovarian tumor.
** Most ovarian tumors are benign; only 6% of ovarian masses are cancer. **
  • Ovarian cysts can occur naturally in all menstruating women, regardless of age.
  • Benign tumors are more common in women who are obese, who started menstruating at a younger age than normal (younger than 11 or 12), who have difficulty conceiving, who have family members who took tamoxifen to suppress hormones, and who smoke.
  1. No symptoms at all.
  2. Palpable mass or enlarged abdomen.
  3. Abdominal pain with fever.
  4. Difficulty passing stool or bloating.

The doctor will ask you about your medical history and may carry out a physical examination to see if any growths can be felt through the abdomen. An ultrasound and/or computerized tomography (CT) scan is usually done as well if ovarian cysts or tumors are suspected.

1.    If an ovarian cyst or growth is suspected, the doctor may recommend monitoring it for 2 to 12 weeks to see if it resolves on its own or may prescribe oral contraceptives to take in the meanwhile. At the next appointment, if the growth has not disappeared, further treatment may be carried out.

2.    If an ovarian tumor is suspected, the doctor may prescribe a blood test to check for cancer markers (CA 125), perform an ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computerized tomography (CT) scan, or recommend surgery to remove the growth and send it to the laboratory for testing.

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