It is scary to think that there are different types of ovarian cancer. The way doctors classify the different types of ovarian cancer is according to the type of cell from which they begin. Let’s take a look at the four main types of ovarian cancer.

Epithelial Tumors

Unfortunately, about 90% of ovarian cancers develop in the epithelium. The epithelium is the thin layer of tissue that covers the ovaries. Generally, this type of ovarian cancer occurs in post menopausal women.

Germ Cell Carcinoma Tumor

This type of ovarian cancer makes up about 5% of ovarian cancer cases. This type of cancer starts in cells that form eggs. Germ cell carcinoma tumor can occur in women of any age, but in most cases this type of tumor is found in women in their early 20’s. In total, there are 6 kinds of germ cell carcinoma, but there are 3 common types: teratomas, dysgerminomas, and endodermal sinus tumors.

Stromal Carcinoma Tumors

Ovarian stromal carcinoma accounts for about 5% of ovarian cancer cases. The tumor begins in the connective tissue cells that hold the ovary together and those that produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. There are two most common type of this tumor: granulosa cell tumors and sertoli-leydig cell tumor. About 70% of stromal carcinoma cases are diagnosed in stage I.

Small Cell Carcinoma of the Ovary (SCCO)

This is a rare type of ovarian cancer. SCCO accounts for 0.1% of ovarian cancer cases. It is a highly malignant tumor that mainly affects young women with a median age of 24 years old. There are subtypes of this rare diagnosis: pulmonary, neuro-endocrine and hypercalcemic.


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