- Risk Factors
- Related Resources
Tumors on your ovaries are hormonally dependent and the risk of developing these tumors increases with the increased number of lifetime ovulations. However, researchers and scientists are still trying to understand what causes ovarian cancer.
What are different types of ovarian tumors?
Ovarian tumors can be noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). Both benign and malignant tumors can arise from any ovarian tissue, including in the epithelial cells, germ cells, and sex cord or stroma tissue.
- Epithelial ovarian tumors
- Arise in the ovarian surface epithelium
- Mostly benign
- Germ cell ovarian tumors
- Arise from the primordial germ cells (oocytes)
- Can be benign or malignant (most are benign)
- Subtypes are determined by structural differentiation:
- Extraembryonic differentiation (yolk sac tumor)
- Somatic differentiation (teratoma)
- No differentiation (dysgerminoma)
- Account for less than 2% of all ovarian cancers
- Sex cord and stromal ovarian tumors
- Arise from the sex cord cells (Sertoli or granulosa cells) or stromal cells (fibroblasts or primitive gonadal stroma)
- Develop from structural tissue cells in the ovary, which produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone
What are the symptoms of ovarian tumors?
Ovarian tumors may not cause symptoms, and symptoms depend on the location and size of the tumor. Symptoms range from stomach pain to endocrinological abnormalities caused by hormone-producing tumors.
Symptoms of tumors on your ovaries may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal bloating or swelling
- Persistent abdominal and pelvic pain
- Frequent urination or urine retention
- Early satiety
- Painful menstrual cramps
- Menstrual irregularities
- Lower back pain
- Pain during sex
- Vaginal bleeding after menopause
Since ovarian cancer may not cause symptoms in the early stages, detection and diagnosis can be delayed and lead to poor prognosis. Ovarian tumors typically spread intraperitoneally and become apparent later in life due to increased abdominal girth (the distance around the abdomen at a specific point) produced by cancer-related ascites.
What are the risk factors for ovarian tumors?
Factors that can increase your risk of ovarian tumors include the following:
- Age: Women aged 55-64 have the highest prevalence of ovarian cancer.
- Family history: Risk increases if a mother or sister has had ovarian cancer.
- Mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes: These genetic mutations increase the risk of ovarian cancer considerably.
- Obesity: If you have a body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or more, you may be at higher risk
- Nulliparous or late pregnancy: Women who have never conceived and carried a pregnancy or who had a pregnancy after age 35 are at higher risk.
- Fertility medications and hormone therapies: Continuing to take estrogen after menopause may increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer.
What are the treatment options for ovarian tumors?
Treatment of ovarian tumors depends on the symptoms present. Benign ovarian tumors can be treated conservatively. Most ovarian cysts do not produce major symptoms, dissolve on their own, and do not require surgical intervention.
If these approaches fail and the tumor grows or causes discomfort or cancer is suspected, your doctor may suggest surgery and chemotherapy.
- Surgery: Ovarian cysts that cause discomfort must be surgically removed. Ovarian neoplasms that continue to develop will also require surgery. If the preoperative risk assessment indicates a low probability of cancer, ovarian-sparing surgery (ovarian cystectomy) is performed to remove only the mass or tumor, leaving the rest of the ovary intact. The whole ovary is removed if ovarian cancer is suspected based on pelvic imaging or ovarian tumor markers.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy drugs can inhibit the ability of cancer cells to grow or replicate. Typically, chemotherapy is administered before surgery to decrease the size of the tumor, making it easier to remove. It may also be administered after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells and prevent a recurrence. Chemotherapy can be administered in the following ways:
- Orally in pill form
- Intramuscularly (injection into muscle tissue or fat tissue)
- Intravenously (injection into the bloodstream)
- Intrathecally (injection into the spinal column)
Can you prevent ovarian tumors?
Although ovarian cancer cannot necessarily be prevented, you may be able to reduce your risk by making lifestyle changes, such as:
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Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Ovarian Masses and Tumors. https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/conditions/ovarian-masses-and-tumors
Ovarian tumors. https://www.dignityhealth.org/conditions-and-treatments/womens-services/ovarian-tumors
Top What Causes Tumors on Your Ovaries Related Articles
What Can I Expect After a Laparoscopic Ovarian Cystectomy?An ovarian cystectomy is a surgery performed to remove sac-like fluid pockets (cyst) from your ovary (a woman’s reproductive organ). These cysts cause problems in menses and infertility.
CA 125 Ovarian Tumor Marker Blood TestCA 125 is a protein, and a tumor marker or biomarker. CA 125 is present in greater concentration in ovarian cancer cells than in other cells. CA stands for cancer antigen. Increases in CA 125 can also occur with malignant tumors of the Fallopian tubes, lining of the uterus, lung, breast, and gastrointestinal track. Benign conditions such as infections of the abdomen, chest, menstruation, endometriosis, benign tumors of the ovaries, and liver disease can also raise CA 125.
Can You Be Fully Cured of Ovarian Cancer?Around two in ten women with advanced-stage ovarian cancer are effectively cured and survive at least 12 years after the treatment as per the research. Your response to cancer therapy and chances for a cure depend on the type and the staging of ovarian cancer at the time of diagnosis.
Can You Feel an Ovarian Tumor?Ovarian cancer is a disease in which the abnormal cells in the ovary begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled manner forming a mass of undifferentiated tumor cells. These cells tend to invade the local tissues and spread to the other organs deteriorating their function.
How Do I Know if I Have an Ovarian Cyst or Tumor?Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that may come and go with your menstrual cycle, while ovarian tumors are solid masses that do not go away on their own.
Ovarian Cancer SlidesOvarian cancer symptoms and signs include abdominal pain, bloating, frequent urination, and a feeling of fullness. Ovarian cancer treatment depends on the stage and may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and targeted therapy.
Ovarian Cancer QuizHow common is ovarian cancer and who is at risk? Take our Ovarian Cancer Quiz to learn the causes, symptoms, and treatment for this disease.
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled, sac-like structures within an ovary. Symptoms of an ovarian cysts may be:
- Pain in the belly or pelvis
- A feeling for the need to have a bowel movement
- Urgency to urinate
- Pain during intercourse.
There are a variety of causes and types of ovarian cysts, and treatment depends upon type of cyst.
Ovarian CystsWhat is an ovarian cyst? Ovarian cyst types vary, and they can cause many symptoms, including abdominal pain. Discover how to tell if you have a ruptured ovarian cyst.
How Long Does It Take to Recover From Ovarian Cyst Removal?Cyst removal is major surgery. Hence, it is important to make sure you take enough rest and give your body time for recuperation. Time taken to recover from the surgery is different for everyone. It takes around 12 weeks for the body to complete the healing process.
Rubraca (rucaparib) for Ovarian CancerRubraca is a prescription medicine used for the maintenance treatment or treatment of adults with ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancer, or primary peritoneal cancer. The most common side effects of Rubraca include nausea, tiredness or weakness, vomiting, decrease in hemoglobin (anemia), changes in how food tastes, constipation, decreased appetite, diarrhea, low blood cell counts, mouth sores, and others.
What Are the Early Warning Signs of Ovarian Cancer?Ovaries are small glands on each side of the uterus responsible for producing eggs as well as the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. In ovarian cancer, a mutation in the genetic material of ovarian cells leads to uncontrolled, abnormal cell growth.
What Is The Main Cause of Ovarian Cysts?Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled growths that grow on the ovary. Learn the signs of an ovarian cyst, what causes ovarian cysts, how doctors diagnose ovarian cysts, and what you can do to treat an ovarian cyst. Ovarian cancer is cancer of the ovaries that produce eggs. Signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer may include abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge, abdominal pain, reduced appetite, bloating, pelvic pain, constipation and an increased urge to urinate.