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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Ovarian cancer


Other Names for this Disease
  • Ovarian carcinoma
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Overview

Ovarian cancer is a form of cancer that occurs due to abnormal and uncontrolled cell growth in the ovaries. Many people with early ovarian cancer have no signs or symptoms of the condition. When present, symptoms are often nonspecific and blamed on other, more common conditions. Most cases of ovarian cancer occur sporadically in people with little to no family history of the condition; however, approximately 10-25% of ovarian cancers are thought to be "hereditary." Although the underlying genetic cause of some hereditary cases is unknown, many are part of a hereditary cancer syndrome (such as BRCA1 or BRCA2 hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome, Lynch syndrome and Peutz-Jeghers syndrome) and are inherited in an autosomal dominant manner.[1][2] The best treatment options for ovarian cancer depend on many factors including the subtype and stage of the condition, but may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or targeted therapy (such as monoclonal antibody therapy).[3][4][5]
Last updated: 3/30/2015

References

  1. Genetics of Breast and Gynecologic Cancers (PDQ®). National Cancer Institute. February 2015; http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/genetics/breast-and-ovarian/HealthProfessional.
  2. Andrew E Green, MD. Ovarian Cancer. Medscape Reference. November 2014; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/255771-overview.
  3. Ovarian Epithelial, Fallopian Tube, and Primary Peritoneal Cancer Treatment. National Cancer Institute. February 2015; http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/ovarianepithelial/HealthProfessional.
  4. Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors Treatment. National Cancer Institute. March 2014; http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/ovarian-germ-cell/HealthProfessional.
  5. Ovarian Low Malignant Potential Tumors Treatment. National Cancer Institute. February 2015; http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/ovarian-low-malignant-potential/HealthProfessional.
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Basic Information

  • The Mayo Clinic Web site provides further information on Ovarian cancer.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The National Cancer Institute provides the most current information on cancer for patients, health professionals, and the general public.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Ovarian cancer. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Ovarian carcinoma
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.