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About ovarian cancer

In this section, you or a loved one can find out more about ovarian cancer, as well as links to other information. Being informed is an important first step towards becoming an active decision-maker in your care plan.

What is ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer is the growth of abnormal, malignant cells that start in a woman’s ovaries. Ovaries are the part of the reproductive system that produces eggs and are mainly made up of three types of cells, each of which can develop into a different type of tumour.

Epithelial tumours grow in the layer of tissue that covers the surface of the ovary. Some ovarian epithelial tumours are described as having low malignant (cancerous) potential and they tend to affect younger women. They grow slowly and are less life threatening.

Germ cell tumours, which can be benign or cancerous, grow in the cells that form eggs. Germ cell tumours include teratomas (which can contain substances including hair, teeth and bone); dysgerminomas (the most common ovarian germ cell cancer); and endodermal sinus tumours and choriocarcinomas.

Stromal tumours develop in the tissues that hold the ovary together and produce the hormones oestrogen and progesterone.

For more information, please visit Ovarian Cancer Australia  (Date last accessed 26 Oct 2016)


Please note that the information on this website is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for seeking medical advice or treatment from a healthcare professional. Speak to a healthcare professional if you have any questions about your health, medical condition, symptoms or treatment options.


National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (Date last accessed 26 Oct 2016)

National Cancer Institute  (Date last accessed 26 Oct 2016)

American Cancer Society  (Date last accessed 26 Oct 2016)


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