The ovaries are part of the female reproductive system. There are two ovaries (a left one and a right one) and when women get old enough to have children one of the ovaries releases an egg each month. These eggs then pass down the fallopian tube to the womb where they can be fertilised with sperm. If the eggs are not fertilised they exit the body during the woman’s monthly period. Aside from releasing eggs, the ovaries are also responsible for producing oestrogen and progesterone.
Ovarian cancer develops when something goes wrong with the cell division process in the ovaries causing them to grow in a rapid and uncontrollable way. It is the fourth most common type of cancer in females with around 7,000 women contracting it in the UK each year. This condition is most prevalent in menopausal women and is rarely diagnosed in women under 40. There are three main types of ovarian cancer and I will be discussing each of them in greater detail below.
1) EPITHELIAL OVARIAN CANCER:- This type of cancer occurs when the cells that line the ovaries (the epithelium) start to grow in a rapid, out of control way. Between 70% and 80% of ovary cancers are this type and it is almost always diagnosed in women who have been through the menopause.
2) GERM CELL OVARIAN CANCER:- This type of cancer develops when the germ cells (the cells responsible for making eggs) start to grow rapidly and uncontrollably. Approximately 15% of ovary cancers are this type and unlike the other forms of this disease, germ cell ovarian cancer normally affects younger women. (more…)