Cancer is a group of diseases, which tends to affect the normal human cells occurring anywhere in the body. Cells are the basic unit of life. They grow and divide to form new cells. In the normal process, new cells replenish the old ones that die.
In cancer however, new cells continue to form and divide even when they are not needed. This leads to the formation of lumps or masses of cells called as tumours. Tumours can be benign or cancerous.
Ovarian cancer results when there is a formation of cancerous tumours on the ovary. This then metastasizes or spreads to the other parts of the body.
Various Types Of Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cysts are nothing but fluid filled sacs often containing water. They tend to go away on their own and if they do not then they can be removed with the help of laparoscopic surgery. They need to be addressed as they affect the woman’s fertility.
Malignant tumours are cancerous tumours, which have abnormal cells that are growing and multiplying at a rapid rate. They can spread, invade other organs of the body and damage them. Tumours, which are malignant and first originate in the ovaries, are called as ovarian cancer. Here are some of the commonly occurring ovarian cancers.
Ovarian Epithelial Cancer
This is one of the most commonly occurring ovarian cancers and occurs on the outer tissue or the epithelial cells of the ovary. Epithelial ovarian tumours are often found even in young women and can easily be treated with the help of conservative methods.
Ovarian Stromal Tumours
These tumours occur in the stromal component of the ovary. This component is responsible for the production of several sex hormones like estradiol, progesterone and testosterone.
An abnormality in this region can lead to an unbalanced or abnormal production of female sex hormones leading to excessive vaginal bleeding, early menopause or hersuitism in which the woman develops body hair due to the over production of testosterone.
Ovarian Germ Cell Cancer
This type of cancer occurs in the germ cells or egg cells of the ovary. It begins in the reproductive cells of the ovary. This sort of cancer is largely prevalent amongst teenage girls. Dysgerminoma is the most commonly occurring ovarian cancer.
Low Malignant Potential Ovarian Cancer
This sort of cancer occurs in the form of precancerous cells that exist on the surface of the ovary. They have the potential of becoming full- fledged cancer. They again are found on the tissue of the ovary. This sort of cancer needs to be screened and treated early to prevent its potential spread.
Metastatic Ovarian Cancer
This sort of cancer is invasive and spreads to other parts of the body. For example, cancer that has spread to the abdominal lining or the peritoneum can cause severe water retention and bloating. There may be accumulation of fluid in the abdomen. This condition is often called as ascites.
Ovarian cancer cells can also spread to the blood stream or the lymphatic system. From there, spreading to other parts of the body becomes relatively easy. The cancer spreads via the blood and invades into other parts of the body.