Ovarian Cancer

  • Robert L. Coleman
  • David M. Gershenson


Primary malignancy of the ovary is fortunately a relatively uncommon condition. In 2011, however, more than 20,000 new cases will likely be diagnosed. Ovarian cancer has a poor reputation for survivorship: nearly three-quarters of all diagnosed patients succumb to the disease, distinguishing it as the most lethal gynecologic malignancy. These statistics largely reflect the clinicopathologic course of the most common type of ovarian cancer, epithelial ovarian cancer, which accounts for more than 80 % of primary cases. However, ovarian cancer may also arise from the germ cells, ovarian stroma, and other supporting tissues; expected survivorship in such cases is generally more favorable as a result of the early stage at diagnosis and the high degree of chemotherapy and radiotherapy sensitivity, when adjuvant therapy is recommended. Generally, younger women with ovarian cancer have a proliferative but noninvasive element designated as “low malignant potential” or “borderline” epithelial ovarian tumor. Clearly distinguishing the individual risk factors and therapeutic options for these subtypes is important, given their occurrence in women of reproductive potential and unique natural history.


Ovarian Cancer Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Germ Cell Tumor Cytoreductive Surgery Gynecologic Oncology Group 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive MedicineThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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