Ovarian cancer types can be divided into 3 basic categories, depending on the type of cell from which the tumor originates. The three basic types of ovarian cancer are:

Epithelial Ovarian Cancer

As the name implies, this tumor originates from the cells that cover the ovary and intra-abdominal lining (the epithelium). The vast majority of ovarian cancers are epithelial in nature, accounting for 90% of all diagnosed ovarian cancers. The risk is directly proportional to age, in that it is rare before the age of 40 and more common in post-menopausal women.

Germ Cell Tumors

Accounting for approximately 5% of ovarian cancers, these tumors originate from the egg producing cells found within the ovary itself. Unlike epithelial ovarian cancer, these cancers occur more frequently in younger women. Germ cell tumors are among the most common tumors in adolescent females.

Sex Cord Stromal Tumors

These tumors arise from the tissue that holds the ovary together and is responsible for hormone production. It accounts for the remaining 5% of ovarian tumors. They may occur at any age, but older females are more susceptible. Common symptoms include breast tenderness and post-menopausal bleeding; these symptoms result from increased estrogen production.

What are the symptoms?