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What is ovarian cancer?

Written by : DoctorNDTV Team

Ovarian cancer is the uncontrolled malignant growth of cells in the ovarian tissue. The ovaries are almond shaped organs in the lower part of the woman's abdomen which produce ova and female hormones. Though ovarian cancer is an uncommon form of cancer, it usually occurs in women older than 50 years. This form of cancer is often called the "silent killer" because the symptoms fail to show up until a late stage of the disease. Also since the ovaries are located deep inside the abdomen, they are not easily accessible for examination.

Cancer of the ovary starts most often in the cells lining the organ than in the internal cells or the eggs. Almost 90% of the cases are when the malignancy begins in these covering cells. In the remaining 10% cases the cancer either starts in the cells that later become the eggs, or in the cells that connect the ovaries to the surrounding tissues. Not all ovarian tumours are cancerous. Many lumps in the ovary may be benign. Some cancers spread very fast, while others are easier to control. If the cancerous cells enter the blood stream they can then form tumours anywhere in the body.

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