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Types of Ovarian Cancer for Patients in NJ, CT, & MD

Cancer occurs when mutated cells grow abnormally in the body. Mutations cause these cells to grow at an accelerated rate and spread, which can interfere with normal bodily functions. Ovarian cancer starts in the ovaries or nearby fallopian tubes or peritoneum and can spread to other reproductive organs, other areas in the pelvis and eventually throughout the body.

There are several types of ovarian cancer. The expert oncologists of Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA) have long experience developing personalized treatment plans based on the type of ovarian cancer and a woman’s overall health.

Common Cell Types of Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancers are classified by the types of cells where the cancer originates. The ovaries consist of these three main types of cells:

  • Epithelial
  • Germ
  • Stromal
Doctor has discussion with older female patient

Epithelial Ovarian Tumors

These tumors develop in the epithelium, the layer of tissue that covers the ovaries. This is the most common type of ovarian cancer. It usually, but not always, affects women who are past menopause. There are four subtypes of these epithelial ovarian tumors:

  • Serous
  • Clear cell
  • Endometrioid
  • Mucinous

Two other cancers, primary peritoneal carcinoma and fallopian tube cancer, are similar to the serous carcinoma subtype. If epithelial cell tumors do not fit into one of these subtypes, they are labeled as undifferentiated. Undifferentiated epithelial ovarian tumors tend to grow and spread at a faster rate than the epithelial cancers that can be assigned to a subtype.

Germ Cell Tumors

These tumors start in germ cells, which are the cells that form eggs. This type of tumor is rare and more commonly found in younger women. While germ cell tumors can be categorized into one of the following subtypes, some include characteristics of several subtypes.

  • Teratoma
  • Dysgerminoma
  • Endodermal sinus tumor
  • Choriocarcinoma

Ovarian Stromal Tumors

These tumors are very rare and are mostly occur in women over the age of 50 years. Abnormal vaginal bleeding is a common symptom, related to the tumors’ production of estrogen. Ovarian stromal tumors are categorized into several subtypes:

  • Granulosa-theca tumors
  • Sertoli-Leydig cell tumors
  • Granulosa cell tumors

Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors and Symptoms

As with other cancers, early detection and prompt treatment of ovarian cancer are critical. When ovarian cancer is localized – that is, when it has not spread outside the ovaries – the average five-year survival rate is 93%. If cancer spreads to distant organs, however, the five-year survival rate drops to 31%.

Women at increased risk for ovarian cancer should consider regular screenings to determine if they have the disease. Older age, genetics, family history of ovarian cancer, personal reproductive history, and certain lifestyle habits can all affect risk.

Ovarian cancer can be difficult to detect because it does not always cause symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may mimic those of other, less-serious conditions. Additionally, all women are at risk for ovarian cancer – not just those with specific risk factors. Common symptoms of ovarian cancer include:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding and discharge
  • Pressure or pain in the abdomen and pelvic area
  • Constipation and bloating
  • Urination that is urgent or more frequent than usual
  • Pain during sex
  • Feeling full quickly when eating, as well as heartburn, and upset stomach
  • Unexplained weight loss and fatigue

Again, these symptoms may be indicative of a host of conditions, most less serious than cancer. However, any and all warrant prompt evaluation by a healthcare professional.

Stages of Ovarian Cancer

After oncologists categorize an ovarian tumor by its type and determine the extent of the cancer’s spread – or stage – they can develop a treatment plan. Four stages are used to describe the degree of spread, the extent of growth, and the location of cancerous cells. Subcategories within the main four stages of ovarian cancer help further identify treatment options.

Ovarian Cancer Treatment

Personalized plans for ovarian cancer treatment take into account the type and stage of the disease. A cancer care team will also evaluate the physical condition and age of the patient, whether she hopes to bear children, and her family medical history. Bringing the latest research, new therapies and technologies, and years of experience to each patient, the doctors at Regional Cancer Care Associates will propose a comprehensive treatment plan suited to each woman and her diagnosis. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapies, with those different modalities often offered in combination or sequence.

Discuss Ovarian Cancer Types at Regional Cancer Care Associates

Once a woman has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, she needs to receive expert care as soon as possible. The oncologists and hematologists of Regional Cancer Care Associates are available to identify the type and stage of ovarian cancer and work with patients to implement an effective course of treatment. The experienced team provides state-of-the-art care and compassionate treatment for various cancer types and blood disorders. Contact the skilled oncology professionals at one of our 25 convenient office locations in New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and the Washington, D.C., area today.

Regional Cancer Care Associates — Cancer care you can trust

At Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA), we feature the best of modern oncologic medicine. We meet the highest standard of cancer care in both quality and safety. At the same time, we lead with our hearts, offering an environment characterized by compassion. We focus on you, individually, and work with you and your family to ensure your care is second to none.

For more information, please call (844) 346-7222. You can schedule an appointment by calling the RCCA location nearest you.

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