What Is Ovarian Cancer?
Ovarian cancer occurs when a cancerous tumor is in a woman’s ovary. In most cases, there are no known causes. There are often no symptoms, but ovarian cancer warning signs include ongoing pain or cramps in the belly or back, abnormal vaginal bleeding, and nausea and bloating. Depending on the cancer stage, ovarian cancer treatment includes surgery and chemotherapy.
Ovarian cancer can invade, shed, or spread to other organs:
- Invade: A malignant ovarian tumor can grow and invade organs next to the ovaries, such as the fallopian tubes and uterus.
- Shed: Cancer cells can shed (break off) from the main ovarian tumor. Shedding into the abdomen may lead to new tumors forming on the surface of nearby organs and tissues. The doctor may call these seeds or implants.
- Spread: Cancer cells can spread through the lymphatic system to lymph nodes in the pelvis, abdomen, and chest. Cancer cells may also spread through the bloodstream to organs such as the liver and lungs.