Ovarian cancer occurs in the region of ovary when the abnormal cells grows abruptly. It often goes undetected until it has spread to pelvis and stomach. Ovaries are paired, almond-shaped, female-reproductive glands, which sit on either side of the uterus (the hollow, pear-shaped organ that accommodates the growing fetus) and held in position by supporting ligaments.
They are made up of mainly 3 types of cells: epithelial cells (that cover the surface of the ovaries), germ cells (that produce the egg/ova), and stromal cells (that provide structural support to the ovary and produce female sex hormones). Each of these cells can develop into one or more types of cancer.
Epithelial cell ovarian cancers are the most commonly encountered (about 90% of all cases) ovarian cancers. Epithelial ovarian cancers are further divided into following subtypes based on their histology (appearance under a microscope): serous, endometrioid, mucinous, and clear cell.
Germ cell ovarian tumors constitute about less than 5% of all ovarian cancers. They are further classified into following subtypes based on the type of cells involved: teratomas, dysgerminomas, endodermal sinus (yolk sac) tumors, choriocarcinomas, and embryonal tumors.
Sex Cord stromal tumors constitute about less than 7% of all ovarian cancers. They are further classified into following subtypes based on the type of cells involved: granulosa cell tumor (most common), Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor, thecoma, fibroma, and fibrosarcoma.
Let's understand all about ovarian cancer with the help of videos and attached infographics [at the end of this resource page].