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Ovarian Cancer

Summary

The ovaries are part of the female reproductive system. They produce a woman's eggs and female hormones. Each ovary is about the size and shape of an almond.

Cancer of the ovary is not common, but it causes more deaths than other female reproductive cancers. The sooner ovarian cancer is found and treated, the better your chance for recovery. But ovarian cancer is hard to detect early. Women with ovarian cancer may have no symptoms or just mild symptoms until the disease is in an advanced stage. Then it is hard to treat. Symptoms may include

  • A heavy feeling in the pelvis
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Bleeding from the vagina
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Abnormal periods
  • Unexplained back pain that gets worse
  • Gas, nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite

To diagnose ovarian cancer, doctors do one or more tests. They include a physical exam, a pelvic exam, lab tests, ultrasound, or a biopsy. Treatment is usually surgery followed by chemotherapy.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Start Here

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health)
  • (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) Also in
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Latest News

Symptoms

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Diagnosis and Tests

  • Abdominal exploration - slideshow (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force) - PDF
  • (American College of Physicians) - PDF
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • (American Cancer Society)
  • (American Society of Clinical Oncology) Also in
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  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in

Treatments and Therapies

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
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  • (American Society for Radiation Oncology) - PDF
  • (American Cancer Society)
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  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)

Living With

  • (Foundation for Women's Cancer)
  • (Johns Hopkins University, Department of Pathology)
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in

Related Issues

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • (American Cancer Society)
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in

Specifics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • (Foundation for Women's Cancer)

Genetics

  • (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) - PDF
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)

Images

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)

Videos and Tutorials

  • Video (BroadcastMed) - Baptist Hospital, Miami, FL, 10/17/2013

Statistics and Research

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • (American Cancer Society)
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)

Find an Expert

  • (American Society of Clinical Oncology)
  • (Foundation for Women's Cancer)
  • From the National Institutes of Health Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health) Also in

Patient Handouts

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