Ovarian cancer

Common Name(s)

Ovarian cancer, Cancer, Ovarian

Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that begins in a women’s ovaries. Women have two ovaries that produce eggs as well as the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Ovarian cancer can be hard to diagnose because early-stages of ovarian cancer rarely cause any symptoms and advanced-stage ovarian cancer may cause few and nonspecific symptoms. The symptoms of ovarian cancer may include abdominal bloating, quickly feeling full when eating, weight loss, cramping in the lower stomach, changes in bowel habits, and a frequent need to urinate.

The cause of ovarian cancer is unclear. In general, cancer is caused by genetic mutations that turn normal cells into abnormal cancer cells that quickly multiply, forming a mass (tumor). The type of cell where the cancer begins determines the type of ovarian cancer. These types included epithelial tumor, stromal tumor, and germ cell tumor. Certain factors may increase your risk of ovarian cancer. These include age (most common in women ages 50 to 60), estrogen hormone replacement therapy, age when menstruation starts and ends (starting before age 12 or undergoing menopause after age 52), never being pregnant, fertility treatment, smoking, and polycystic ovary syndrome. About 10% to 20% of all ovarian cancer is caused by an inherited change (mutation) in either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene.

A doctor will use a combination of methods to diagnose ovarian cancer, including a pelvic exam, imaging (ultrasound or CT scans) to look at the ovaries, blood tests, and surgery to remove a tissue sample and abdominal fluid to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment of ovarian cancer usually involves a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. It is important to talk to your doctor to learn about the most up-to-date treatment options. If more than one person in your family has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, it may be helpful to talk with a genetic counselor about hereditary cancer and genetic testing options.

Source: Advocacy organizations associated with the condition.

 

Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Ovarian cancer" for support, advocacy or research.

4th Angel Mentoring Program

Learning that you have cancer can be an overwhelming experience – one that leaves you frightened, vulnerable and alone. The 4th Angel Mentoring Program offers free, one-on-one, confidential outreach and support from someone who has successfully made the same journey you are about to begin – the journey towards recovery. This specially trained volunteer and cancer survivor – your 4th Angel – is someone who will talk and listen in a supportive setting. The 4th Angel Mentoring Program is telephone based, so you can be connect with an angel anywhere in the country. 4th Angel Mentoring Program is part of The Scott Hamilton CARES Initiative, a national non-profit organizat

Last Updated: 12 Dec 2012

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Basser Research Center for BRCA

The Basser Research Center for BRCA provides education and support for individuals and families with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. Our mission is to deliver cutting edge research in basic and clinical sciences to advance the care of individuals who carry BRCA mutations. The Basser Center is part of the Abramson Cancer Center at Penn Medicine.

Last Updated: 29 Oct 2014

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Bay Area Cancer Connections

We support people touched by breast and ovarian cancer by providing comprehensive, personalized services in an atmosphere of warmth and compassion.

Last Updated: 21 May 2015

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Breast Friends

Breast Friends ensures that no woman goes through cancer alone. We are a unique resource for women, their family, friends, co-workers and community minimizing the fear and isolation of cancer. For over a decade our programs have empowered thousands with emotional support and hope. We are survivors and professionals helping others celebrate the joy of life.

Last Updated: 25 Mar 2013

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Center for Jewish Genetics

The Center is dedicated to gathering and disseminating knowledge about Jewish genetic disorders and hereditary cancers. Its mission is to educate and serve health care professionals, clergy and the Jewish community.

Last Updated: 26 Dec 2012

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Conversations!

The mission of Conversations! is to provide information to people who are diagnosed with gynecologic cancers, their families, and caregivers.

Last Updated: 29 Jan 2013

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FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered

FORCE is a national nonprofit dedicated to fighting hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. With 50 outreach groups throughout the U.S., and international affiliates, FORCE programs provide support, education, advocacy, awareness and research specific to hereditary cancers. Our programs serve anyone with a BRCA mutation or a family history of cancer. FORCE was founded on the principle that no one should have to face hereditary breast and ovarian cancer alone.

Last Updated: 5 May 2014

View Details
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Gilda Radner Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry

The Gilda Radner Ovarian Cancer Registry is looking for families with two or more diagnoses of ovarian cancer to join the Registry. Research conducted by the Registry will help the scientific and medical communities learn more about ovarian cancer and identify new genes associated with familial ovarian cancer.

Last Updated: 24 Nov 2009

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HealthyWomen

HealthyWomen (HW) is the nation's leading independent health information source for women. Our core mission is to educate, inform and empower women to make smart health choices for themselves and their families. For more than 20 years, millions of women have been coming to HW for answers to their most pressing and personal health care questions. Through our wide array of online and print publications, HW provides health information that is original, objective, reviewed by medical experts and reflective of the advances in evidence-based health research.

Last Updated: 9 Jul 2015

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National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Inc.

To raise awareness and promote education about ovarian cancer. The Coalition is committed to improving the survival rate and quality of life for women with ovarian cancer.

Last Updated: 30 Oct 2012

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Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation

The mission of the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation is to raise funds for ovarian cancer research and to increase awareness about the risks, symptoms and treatments of this disease.

Last Updated: 20 Feb 2013

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Ovarian Cancer National Alliance

Our mission is to advance the interests of women with ovarian cancer.

Last Updated: 30 Nov 2014

View Details
SHARE

SHARE helps people through breast or ovarian cancer, from diagnosis through treatment and post-treatment, offering the unique support of survivors who've been there. All of SHARE's services are free of charge and include telephone support, educational programs, support groups, and public-health initiatives. Visit us at www.sharecancersupport.org or call our toll-free helplines at 866-891-2392.

Last Updated: 20 Feb 2013

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Sharsheret

Sharsheret is a national not-for-profit organization supporting young Jewish women and their families facing breast cancer. Our mission is to offer a community of support to women, of all Jewish backgrounds, diagnosed with breast cancer or at increased genetic risk, by fostering culturally-relevant individualized connections with networks of peers, health professionals, and related resources.

Last Updated: 5 Mar 2013

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Stupid Cancer

Founded by and for young adult survivors, the I'm Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation (i[2]y), is the nation's leading grassroots advocate for the next generation of cancer survivors and their caregivers in their late teens, 20s and 30s. A TIME Magazine Best 50 Website, we have helped bring the cause of 'young adult cancer' to the national spotlight and rallied a brand new generation of activists to give voice to our forgotten population. Our mission is to empower young adults affected by cancer.

Last Updated: 6 Nov 2012

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General Support Organizations

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Ovarian cancer" for support, advocacy or research.

4th Angel Mentoring Program

Learning that you have cancer can be an overwhelming experience – one that leaves you frightened, vulnerable and alone. The 4th Angel Mentoring Program offers free, one-on-one, confidential outreach and support from someone who has successfully made the same journey you are about to begin – the journey towards recovery. This specially trained volunteer and cancer survivor – your 4th Angel – is someone who will talk and listen in a supportive setting. The 4th Angel Mentoring Program is telephone based, so you can be connect with an angel anywhere in the country. 4th Angel Mentoring Program is part of The Scott Hamilton CARES Initiative, a national non-profit organizat

http://www.4thangel.org

Last Updated: 12 Dec 2012

View Details
Basser Research Center for BRCA

The Basser Research Center for BRCA provides education and support for individuals and families with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. Our mission is to deliver cutting edge research in basic and clinical sciences to advance the care of individuals who carry BRCA mutations. The Basser Center is part of the Abramson Cancer Center at Penn Medicine.

http://www.basser.org

Last Updated: 29 Oct 2014

View Details
Logo
Bay Area Cancer Connections

We support people touched by breast and ovarian cancer by providing comprehensive, personalized services in an atmosphere of warmth and compassion.

http://www.bcconnections.org

Last Updated: 21 May 2015

View Details
Breast Friends

Breast Friends ensures that no woman goes through cancer alone. We are a unique resource for women, their family, friends, co-workers and community minimizing the fear and isolation of cancer. For over a decade our programs have empowered thousands with emotional support and hope. We are survivors and professionals helping others celebrate the joy of life.

http://www.breastfriends.org

Last Updated: 25 Mar 2013

View Details
Center for Jewish Genetics

The Center is dedicated to gathering and disseminating knowledge about Jewish genetic disorders and hereditary cancers. Its mission is to educate and serve health care professionals, clergy and the Jewish community.

http://www.jewishgenetics.org

Last Updated: 26 Dec 2012

View Details
Logo
Conversations!

The mission of Conversations! is to provide information to people who are diagnosed with gynecologic cancers, their families, and caregivers.

http://www.ovarian-news.org

Last Updated: 29 Jan 2013

View Details
FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered

FORCE is a national nonprofit dedicated to fighting hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. With 50 outreach groups throughout the U.S., and international affiliates, FORCE programs provide support, education, advocacy, awareness and research specific to hereditary cancers. Our programs serve anyone with a BRCA mutation or a family history of cancer. FORCE was founded on the principle that no one should have to face hereditary breast and ovarian cancer alone.

http://www.facingourrisk.org

Last Updated: 5 May 2014

View Details
Logo
Gilda Radner Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry

The Gilda Radner Ovarian Cancer Registry is looking for families with two or more diagnoses of ovarian cancer to join the Registry. Research conducted by the Registry will help the scientific and medical communities learn more about ovarian cancer and identify new genes associated with familial ovarian cancer.

http://www.ovariancancer.com

Last Updated: 24 Nov 2009

View Details
HealthyWomen

HealthyWomen (HW) is the nation's leading independent health information source for women. Our core mission is to educate, inform and empower women to make smart health choices for themselves and their families. For more than 20 years, millions of women have been coming to HW for answers to their most pressing and personal health care questions. Through our wide array of online and print publications, HW provides health information that is original, objective, reviewed by medical experts and reflective of the advances in evidence-based health research.

http://www.healthywomen.org

Last Updated: 9 Jul 2015

View Details
National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Inc.

To raise awareness and promote education about ovarian cancer. The Coalition is committed to improving the survival rate and quality of life for women with ovarian cancer.

http://www.ovarian.org

Last Updated: 30 Oct 2012

View Details
Logo
Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation

The mission of the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation is to raise funds for ovarian cancer research and to increase awareness about the risks, symptoms and treatments of this disease.

http://www.nlovca.org

Last Updated: 20 Feb 2013

View Details
Ovarian Cancer National Alliance

Our mission is to advance the interests of women with ovarian cancer.

http://ovariancancer.org/

Last Updated: 30 Nov 2014

View Details
SHARE

SHARE helps people through breast or ovarian cancer, from diagnosis through treatment and post-treatment, offering the unique support of survivors who've been there. All of SHARE's services are free of charge and include telephone support, educational programs, support groups, and public-health initiatives. Visit us at www.sharecancersupport.org or call our toll-free helplines at 866-891-2392.

http://www.sharecancersupport.org

Last Updated: 20 Feb 2013

View Details
Sharsheret

Sharsheret is a national not-for-profit organization supporting young Jewish women and their families facing breast cancer. Our mission is to offer a community of support to women, of all Jewish backgrounds, diagnosed with breast cancer or at increased genetic risk, by fostering culturally-relevant individualized connections with networks of peers, health professionals, and related resources.

http://www.sharsheret.org

Last Updated: 5 Mar 2013

View Details
Stupid Cancer

Founded by and for young adult survivors, the I'm Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation (i[2]y), is the nation's leading grassroots advocate for the next generation of cancer survivors and their caregivers in their late teens, 20s and 30s. A TIME Magazine Best 50 Website, we have helped bring the cause of 'young adult cancer' to the national spotlight and rallied a brand new generation of activists to give voice to our forgotten population. Our mission is to empower young adults affected by cancer.

http://stupidcancer.org

Last Updated: 6 Nov 2012

View Details

 

General Support Organizations

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General Resources

NOCC Resources Links

Publication, Video & Resource Links

Updated 9 Oct 2012

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Ovarian Cancer Symptom Diary App

The Ovarian Cancer Symptom Diary App will help you learn about the risks, signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. This first-of-its-kind application allows a woman to track symptoms that could indicate ovarian cancer.

Updated 20 Dec 2012

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Ovarian cancer" returned 5004 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Trends in relative survival for ovarian cancer from 1975 to 2011.
 

Author(s): Jason D Wright, Ling Chen, Ana I Tergas, Sonali Patankar, William M Burke, June Y Hou, Alfred I Neugut, Cande V Ananth, Dawn L Hershman

Journal: Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Jun;125(6):1345-52.

 

To examine relative survival (a metric that incorporates changes in survival within a population) in women with ovarian cancer from 1975 to 2011.

Last Updated: 24 May 2015

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Adjuvant ovarian suppression in premenopausal breast cancer.
 

Author(s): Prudence A Francis, Meredith M Regan, Gini F Fleming

Journal: N. Engl. J. Med.. 2015 Apr;372(17):1673.

 

Last Updated: 23 Apr 2015

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Molecular characterization of 7 new established cell lines from high grade serous ovarian cancer.
 

Author(s): Caroline Kreuzinger, Magdalena Gamperl, Andrea Wolf, Georg Heinze, Angelika Geroldinger, Diether Lambrechts, Bram Boeckx, Dominiek Smeets, Reinhard Horvat, Stefanie Aust, Gerhard Hamilton, Robert Zeillinger, Dan Cacsire Castillo-Tong

Journal: Cancer Lett.. 2015 Jul;362(2):218-28.

 

Cancer cell lines are good in vitro models to study molecular mechanisms underlying chemoresistance and cancer recurrence. Recent works have demonstrated that most of the available ovarian cancer cell lines are most unlikely high grade serous (HGSOC), the major type of epithelial ...

Last Updated: 27 Apr 2015

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Ovarian cancer" returned 461 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

The Role of Ovarian Suppression in Premenopausal Women With Hormone Receptor-Positive Early-Stage Breast Cancer.
 

Author(s): Sarika Jain, Cesar Augusto Santa-Maria, William J Gradishar

Journal: Oncology (Williston Park, N.Y.). 2015 Jul;29(7):473-8, 481.

 

The optimal adjuvant endocrine therapy in premenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer is yet to be elucidated. Studies have demonstrated that women who experience cessation of ovarian function after chemotherapy (chemotherapy-induced amenorrhea) may experience improved survival. ...

Last Updated: 16 Jul 2015

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Two decades beyond BRCA1/2: Homologous recombination, hereditary cancer risk and a target for ovarian cancer therapy.
 

Author(s): Christine S Walsh

Journal: Gynecol. Oncol.. 2015 May;137(2):343-50.

 

Almost exactly 20 years after their discovery, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have become the target of the first "personalized" therapy available for patients with ovarian cancer. In December 2014, a poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor was granted expedited approved by the United ...

Last Updated: 8 May 2015

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Ovarian cancer: new developments in clear cell carcinoma and hopes for targeted therapy.
 

Author(s): Yoriko Yamashita

Journal: Jpn. J. Clin. Oncol.. 2015 May;45(5):405-7.

 

Until recently, ovarian clear cell carcinoma was recognized by its unique morphology and unfavorable patient outcome primarily due to tumor chemoresistance. Recently, specific molecular characteristics of ovarian clear cell carcinoma, such as PI3CA mutation, ARID1a mutation and MET ...

Last Updated: 29 Apr 2015

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Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

There are currently no related results available in GeneReviews.

There are currently no related results available in Genetic Testing Registry.

 
 
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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Interactive Educational Website for Women With Ovarian Cancer & Caregivers
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Stage III Ovarian Cancer; Stage IV Ovarian Cancer; Recurrent Ovarian Cancer; Fallopian Tube Cancer

 

Last Updated: 21 Aug 2014

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Pembrolizumab in Combination With Chemotherapy in Frontline Ovarian Cancer
 

Status: Not yet recruiting

Condition Summary: Ovarian Cancer; Metastatic Ovarian Cancer

 

Last Updated: 10 Aug 2015

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Low-Dose Fractionated Whole Abdominal Radiation Therapy (LDFWART) With Carboplatin and Docetaxel in Patients With Recurrent Ovarian Cancer
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Ovarian Cancer; Ovarian Carcinoma; Recurrent Ovarian Cancer; Recurrent Ovarian Carcinoma

 

Last Updated: 14 Aug 2015

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