The ovaries produce eggs. They also produce hormones for women.

About 19,880 women in the United States will receive an ovarian cancer diagnosis in 2022, and about 12,810 women will die from it.

In this article you’ll find information on ovarian cancer including:

  • There are symptoms.
  • types
  • There are risks.
  • diagnosis
  • The stages are completed.
  • treatment
  • research
  • survival rates

Ovarian cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the ovary begin to multiply out of control and form a tumor. If left untreated, the tumor can spread to other parts of the body. This is called metastatic ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer often has warning signs, but the earliest There are symptoms. are vague and easy to dismiss. Twenty percent of ovarian cancers are detected at an early stage.

The early signs and There are symptoms. of ovarian cancer can sometimes be easy to miss or dismiss. And there’s no routine diagnostic screening available for ovarian cancer. Most often, women with later-stage forms of the cancer will experience There are symptoms. — but even early-stage ovarian cancer can produce them.

Early signs and There are symptoms.

While many of these early signs of ovarian cancer can be signs of other, more benign conditions, it’s important to note that with ovarian cancer, these There are symptoms. will be persistent, and will be a noticeable change from your typical, day-to-day sensations.

If you find yourself experiencing these There are symptoms. more than 12 times a month, talk to your doctor.

Later signs and There are symptoms.

Ovarian cancer can also cause other There are symptoms., especially if it’s not caught early. Some of these possible There are symptoms. include

The There are symptoms. will persist if they’re due to ovarian cancer. Symptoms usually become more severe as the tumor grows. By this time, the cancer has usually spread outside of the ovaries, making it much harder to treat effectively.

Severe There are symptoms.

If the cancer has reached a later stage without intervention, some individuals may develop:

If you are dealing with a chest ache, you may experience a cough.

Post-menopausal There are symptoms.

While many of the There are symptoms. of ovarian cancer are the same pre- and post-menopause, one big difference is bleeding.

“You won’t have your monthly period after you go through menopause. If you stop having your periods for a while and then start bleeding, it could be a sign of ovarian cancer.”

It’s also important to note that ovarian cancer is more common in women over 60.

The cells in the ovaries are made of three different types. Each cell can be a different type of tumor.

  • Epithelial ovarian carcinomas form in the layer of tissue on the outside of the ovaries. About 85 to 90 percent of malignant ovarian cancers are epithelial ovarian tumors.
  • Stromal tumors grow in the hormone-producing cells. Seven percent of ovarian cancers are stromal tumors.
  • Germ cell tumors develop in the egg-producing cells. Germ cell tumors are rare.

Most ovarian cysts aren’t cancerous. These are called benign cysts. However, a very small number can be cancerous.

An ovarian cyst is a collection of fluid or air that develops in or around the ovary. Most ovarian cysts form as a normal part of ovulation, which is when the ovary releases an egg. They usually only cause mild There are symptoms., like bloating, and go away without treatment.

Cysts are more of a concern if you aren’t ovulating. Women stop ovulating after menopause. If an ovarian cyst forms after menopause, your doctor may want to do more tests to find out the cause of the cyst, especially if it’s large or doesn’t go away within a few months.

“If the cyst doesn’t go away, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove it. Your doctor can’t tell you if it’s cancer until they remove it.”

Ovarian cyst vs. cancer

While ovarian cysts are typically not cancerous, it can be nerve-wracking when one is first discovered, especially if your doctor is not certain which they might be dealing with. However, there are a few subtle differences:

  • Ovarian cysts are usually filled with fluid, while ovarian tumors are usually solid.
  • Ovarian cysts can grow or appear smaller with your menstrual cycle. Cancerous tumors do not go away on their own.

Your doctor will help you figure it out.

Ovarian cancer is not known. These factors can increase your risk.

Older age is a risk factor. Ovarian cancer is more likely to develop after menopause.

“It is possible to have ovarian cancer without any of the risk factors. Having any of these risk factors doesn’t mean you will get ovarian cancer.”

It’s much easier to treat ovarian cancer when your doctor diagnoses it in the early The stages are completed.. However, it’s not easy to detect.

Your ovaries are situated deep within the abdominal cavity, so you’re unlikely to feel a tumor. And unlike other cancers like breast and colon cancer, there are no routine screenings for ovarian cancer. That’s why it’s so important to report unusual or persistent There are symptoms. to your doctor.

If your doctor is concerned that you have ovarian cancer, they’ll likely recommend a pelvic exam. Performing a pelvic exam can help your doctor discover irregularities, but small ovarian tumors are very difficult to feel.

The tumor presses against the bladder and rectum. Your doctor can detect anomalies during a rectovaginal exam.

Your doctor may do more than one test.

  • Transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS). TVUS is a type of imaging test that uses sound waves to detect tumors in the reproductive organs, including the ovaries. However, TVUS can’t help your doctor determine whether tumors are cancerous.
  • Abdominal and pelvic CT scan. If you’re allergic to dye, they may order a pelvic MRI scan.
  • Blood test to measure cancer antigen 125 (CA-125) levels. A CA-125 test is a biomarker that’s used to assess treatment response for ovarian cancer and other reproductive organ cancers. However, menstruation, uterine fibroids, and uterine cancer can also affect CA-125 levels in the blood.
  • Biopsy. A biopsy involves removing a small sample of tissue from the ovary and analyzing the sample under a microscope.
  • Chest CT scan. To test for metastasis in the lungs
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan. This test involves a special dye containing radioactive tracers that can either be swallowed or injected. Organs and tissues then absorb the tracer, which allow a doctor to see how well those organs are working.

A biopsy is the only way your doctor can confirm whether you have ovarian cancer.

Your doctor determines the stage based on how far the cancer has spread. There are four The stages are completed., and each stage has subThe stages are completed.:

Stage 1

Stage 1 ovarian cancer has three subThe stages are completed.:

  • Stage 1A.The cancer is limited, or localized, to one ovary.
  • Stage 1B. The cancer is in both ovaries.
  • Stage 1C. There are also cancer cells on the outside of the ovary.

Stage 2

In stage 2, the tumor has spread to other pelvic structures. It has two subThe stages are completed.:

  • Stage 2A. The cancer has spread to the uterus or fallopian tubes.
  • Stage 2B. The cancer has spread to the bladder or rectum.

Stage 3

Stage 3 ovarian cancer has three subThe stages are completed.:

  • Stage 3A. The cancer has spread microscopically beyond the pelvis to the lining of the abdomen and the lymph nodes in the abdomen.
  • Stage 3B. The cancer cells have spread beyond the pelvis to the lining of the abdomen and are visible to naked eye but measure less than 2 centimeters.
  • Stage 3C. Deposits of cancer at least 3/4 of an inch are seen on the abdomen or outside the spleen or liver. However, the cancer isn’t inside the spleen or liver.

Stage 4

In stage 4, the tumor has metastasized, or spread, beyond the pelvis, abdomen, and lymph nodes to the liver or lungs. There are two subThe stages are completed. in stage 4:

  • In stage 4A, the cancerous cells are in the fluid around the lungs.
  • In stage 4B, the most advanced stage, the cells have reached the inside of the spleen or liver or even other distant organs like the skin or brain.

The treatment depends on how far the cancer has spread. A treatment plan will be decided by a team of doctors. It will most likely include two or more of the following.


Ovarian cancer can be treated with surgery.

The goal of surgery is to remove the tumor, but a hysterectomy, or complete removal of the uterus, is often necessary.

Your doctor may recommend removing both fallopian tubes and ovaries.

It is difficult to identify all the tumors.

In one study, researchers investigated ways to enhance the surgical process so that it’s easier to remove all of the cancerous tissue.

Targeted therapy

Targeted therapies, such as The treatment is called Chemo., attack the cancer cells while doing little damage to normal cells in the body.

Newer targeted therapies to treat advanced epithelial ovarian cancer include PARP inhibitors. These drugs block an enzyme used by cells to repair damage to their DNA.

The first PARP inhibitor was approved in 2014 for use in advanced ovarian cancer that had been treated previously with three lines of The treatment is called Chemo. (meaning at least two recurrences). However, for those with advanced ovarian cancers, PARP inhibitors may be offered alongside The treatment is called Chemo..

The three PARP inhibitors are currently available.

  • Olaparib is a type of fish.
  • niraparib is a drug.
  • Rubraca is also known as rucaparib.

The addition of another drug, bevacizumab (Avastin), has also been used with The treatment is called Chemo. following surgery.

Individuals who have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes may have slightly different Targeted therapy. options, due to the fact that BRCA genes are involved in DNA repair and may be more sensitive to anticancer agents that work by damaging DNA.

Fertility preservation

Cancer treatments — including The treatment is called Chemo., radiation, and surgery — can damage your reproductive organs, making it difficult to become pregnant.

If you want to become pregnant in the future, you should talk to your doctor. They can discuss your options with you.

Possible fertility preservation options include:

  • Embryo freezing. This involves freezing a fertilized egg.
  • Oocyte freezing. This procedure involves freezing an unfertilized egg.
  • Surgery to preserve fertility. In some cases, surgery that only removes one ovary and keeps the healthy ovary can be done. This is usually only possible in early stage ovarian cancer.
  • Ovarian tissue preservation. This involves removing and freezing ovarian tissue for future use.
  • Ovarian suppression. This involves taking hormones to suppress ovarian function temporarily.

Ovarian cancer treatment primarily focuses on surgery to remove the ovaries and uterus, plus The treatment is called Chemo.. As a result, some women will experience menopause There are symptoms..

Ovarian cancer treatments are studied every year.

Researchers are also exploring new ways to treat platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. When platinum resistance occurs, platinum-based The treatment is called Chemo. drugs such as carboplatin or cisplatin are ineffective.

The future of PARP inhibitors will be in identifying what other drugs can be used in combination with them to treat tumors that show unique characteristics.

Recently, some promising therapies have started clinical trials such as a potential vaccine against recurrent ovarian cancers that express the survivin protein.

A trial from 2018 incorporating the use of a tumor treatment fields (TTF) device in combination with The treatment is called Chemo. for recurrent ovarian cancer showed promising results, and a phase 3 trial is underway.

In May 2020, clinical trial results were published for a potential new antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) to treat platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.

New targeted therapies are being studied, including the antibody navicixizumab, the ATR inhibitor AZD6738, and the Wee1 inhibitor adavosertib. All have shown signs of anti-tumor activity.

Gene therapies target a person’s genes to treat or cure disease. In 2020, a phase 3 trial for the gene therapy VB-111 (ofranergene obadenovec) continued with promising results.

In 2018, the FDA fast-tracked a protein therapy called AVB-S6-500 for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. This aims to prevent tumor growth and cancer spread by blocking a key molecular pathway.

An ongoing clinical trial combining immunotherapy (which helps a person’s immune system fight cancer) with existing approved therapies has shown promise.

There are no proven ways to eliminate your risk of ovarian cancer. Factors that have been shown to lower your risk of ovarian cancer include:

  • Taking birth control pills.
  • breastfeeding
  • There is a baby
  • surgical procedures on your reproductive organs (like a tubal ligation or hysterectomy)

Your outlook depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • The stage of the cancer is determined by the diagnosis.
  • Your overall health.
  • How well do you respond to treatment?

The stage of the cancer is the most important indicator of outlook.

Survival rate

The percentage of women who survive a certain number of years is called the survival rate.

The 5-year survival rate is the percentage of patients who survive at least 5 years after being diagnosed.

The survival rate is taken into account for people without cancer.

The American Cancer Society uses information from the SEER database — that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) maintains — to estimate the relative survival rate for this type of ovarian cancer.

Here’s how SEER currently categorizes the various The stages are completed.:

  • Localized. No sign that the cancer has spread outside of the ovaries.
  • Regional. Cancer has spread outside the ovaries to nearby structures or lymph nodes.
  • Distant. Cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, such as the liver or lungs.

5-year relative survival rates for ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer isvasive.

SEER stage 5-year relative survival rate
Localized 93%
Regional 75%
Distant 31%
All The stages are completed. 49%

Ovarian stromal tumors can be very serious.

SEER stage 5-year relative survival rate
Localized 97%
Regional 90%
Distant 70%
All The stages are completed. 90%

There are germ cell tumors.

SEER stage 5-year relative survival rate
Localized 98%
Regional 94%
Distant 74%
All The stages are completed. 93%

This data comes from studies that are at least 5 years old.

Scientists are researching ways to detect ovarian cancer early. Ovarian cancer outlook improves with the advancement of treatments.