What is Ovarian Cancer?

Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer, and can spread to other areas of the body.

Ovarian cancer begins in the ovaries. Ovaries are reproductive glands found only in females (women). The ovaries produce eggs (ova) for reproduction. The eggs travel through the fallopian tubes into the uterus where the fertilized egg implants and develops into a fetus. The ovaries are also the main source of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. One ovary is on each side of the uterus in the pelvis. 

What is Dysgerminoma?

"(Dysgerminoma) This type of cancer is rare, but it is the most common ovarian germ cell cancer. It usually affects women in their teens and twenties. Dysgerminomas are considered malignant (cancerous), but most don’t grow or spread very rapidly. When they are limited to the ovary, more than 75% of patients are cured by surgically removing the ovary, without any further treatment. Even when the tumor has spread further (or if it comes back later), surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy are effective in controlling or curing the disease in about 90% of patients." Resource

The ovaries are made up of 3 main kinds of cells. Each type of cell can develop into a different type of tumor:

●  Epithelial tumors start from the cells that cover the outer surface of the ovary. Most ovarian tumors are epithelial cell tumors.

●  Germ cell tumors start from the cells that produce the eggs (ova).

●  Stromal tumors start from structural tissue cells that hold the ovary together and

produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Most of these tumors are benign (non-cancerous) and never spread beyond the ovary. Benign tumors can be treated by removing either the ovary or the part of the ovary that contains the tumor.

Malignant (cancerous) or low malignant potential ovarian tumors can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body and can be fatal. 

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