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Types of Ovarian Cancer

There are four main types of ovarian cancer, and these are named after the type of cells in the ovary where the cancer begins growing:

  • Epithelial ovarian cancer begins in the epithelium: the outer cells that cover the ovary. This is the most common type of ovarian cancer, accounting for about 90% of cases.
  • Borderline tumours are a group of epithelial tumours which are not as aggressive as other epithelial tumours. Borderline tumours may also be called ‘low malignant potential’ or LMP tumours. The outlook for women with borderline tumours is generally good regardless of whether the disease is diagnosed early or late.
  • Germ cell ovarian cancer begins in the cells that mature into eggs. These tumours account for about 5% of ovarian cancers and usually affect women under 30 years.
  • Sex-cord stromal cell ovarian cancer begins in the ovary cells that release female hormones. These tumours account for about 5% of ovarian cancers and can affect women of any age.
  • Both germ cell and sex-cord stromal cell ovarian cancers respond well to treatment and are often curable. If either of these cancers affect only one ovary, it may be possible for younger women to have children after treatment.

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