Basic Information About Ovarian Cancer
Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control because they are not supposed to. Even if cancer spreads to other body parts later, it is usually called by the name of the part of the body where it started.
Ovarian cancer is a group of diseases that start in the ovaries or in the fallopian tubes and peritoneum, which are close to the ovaries. Women have two ovaries, one on each side of the uterus. They are both in the pelvis. The ovaries make female hormones and eggs, which are used to make more offspring. Women have a pair of long, thin tubes on each side of the uterus. These are the fallopian tubes. Eggs move from the ovaries to the uterus through the fallopian tubes. The tissue that lines the organs in the abdomen is called the peritoneum.
When ovarian cancer is found early, treating it is easier and more effective. Symptoms and signs of ovarian cancer are common, so paying attention to your body and knowing what’s normal for you is essential. Cancer may not cause your symptoms, but the only way to know for sure is to see your doctor, nurse, or another health care professional.
Changes in your genes, called mutations, can make you more likely to get ovarian cancer. For example, ovarian cancer risk is raised by mutations in the breast cancer susceptibility genes 1 and 2 (BRCA1 and BRCA2) and the genes linked to Lynch syndrome.
Many different kinds of tumors can be caused by ovarian cancer. However, about 70% of all cases of ovarian cancer are caused by high-grade serous carcinoma, the most common type of tumor.