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Ovarian Low Malignant Potential Tumors Treatment (PDQ®)
General Information About Ovarian Low Malignant Potential Tumors
Ovarian low malignant potential tumor is a disease in which abnormal cells form in the tissue covering the ovary.
Ovarian low malignant potential tumors have abnormalcells that may become cancer, but usually do not. This disease usually remains in the ovary. When disease is found in one ovary, the other ovary should also be checked carefully for signs of disease.
The ovaries are a pair of organs in the female reproductive system. They are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus (the hollow, pear-shaped organ where a fetus grows). Each ovary is about the size and shape of an almond. The ovaries produce eggs and female hormones (chemicals that control the way certain cells or organs work).
Possible signs of ovarian low malignant potential tumor include pain or swelling in the abdomen.
Early ovarian low malignant potential tumor may not cause any symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they may include the following:
Pain or swelling in the abdomen.
Pain in the pelvis.
These symptoms may be caused by other conditions. If the symptoms get worse or do not go away on their own, check with your doctor.
Certain factors affect prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options.
The prognosis and treatment options depend on the following:
The stage of the disease (whether it affects part of the ovary, involves the whole ovary, or has spread to other places in the body).
What type of cells make up the tumor.
The size of the tumor.
The patient’s general health.
In most cases, ovarian low malignant potential tumor can be treated successfully.
These tumors are usually found early. However, even advanced stage ovarian low malignant potential tumors can be treated successfully. Patients who do not survive usually die from complications of the disease (such as a small bowelobstruction) or the side effects of treatment, but rarely because the tumor has spread.
Stages of Ovarian Low Malignant Potential Tumors
After ovarian low malignant potential tumor has been diagnosed, tests are done to find out if abnormal cells have spread within the ovary or to other parts of the body.
The process used to find out whether abnormalcells have spread within the ovary or to other parts of the body is called staging. The information gathered from the staging process determines the stage of the disease. It is important to know the stage in order to plan treatment. Certain tests or procedures are used to determine stage. Staging laparotomy (a surgicalincision made in the wall of the abdomen to remove ovariantissue) may be used. Most patients are diagnosed with stage I disease.
The following stages are used for ovarian low malignant potential tumor:
the capsule (outer covering) of the tumor has ruptured (broken open); or
Stage IIC: The tumor has spread to the uterus and/or fallopian tubes and/or other tissue within the pelvis and tumor cells are found in the fluid of the peritoneal cavity (the body cavity that contains most of the organs in the abdomen) or in washings of the peritoneum (tissue lining the peritoneal cavity).
Ovarian low malignant potential tumors almost never reach stage IV.
Recurrent Ovarian Low Malignant Potential Tumors
Treatment Option Overview
There are different types of treatment for patients with ovarian low malignant potential tumor.
Different types of treatment are available for patients with ovarian low malignant potential tumor. Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials. A treatment clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with cancer, tumors, and related conditions. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment. Patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. Some clinical trials are open only to patients who have not started treatment.
Two types of standard treatment are used:
Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy: Surgery to remove both ovaries and both fallopian tubes.
Total hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy: Surgery to remove the uterus, cervix, and both ovaries and fallopian tubes. If the uterus and cervix are taken out through the vagina, the operation is called a vaginal hysterectomy. If the uterus and cervix are taken out through a large incision (cut) in the abdomen, the operation is called a total abdominal hysterectomy. If the uterus and cervix are taken out through a small incision (cut) in the abdomen using a laparoscope, the operation is called a total laparoscopic hysterectomy.
Partial oophorectomy: Surgery to remove part of one ovary or part of both ovaries.
Even if the doctor removes all disease that can be seen at the time of the operation, the patient may be given chemotherapy after surgery to kill any tumor cells that are left. Treatment given after the surgery, to lower the risk that the tumor will come back, is called adjuvant therapy.
Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body (systemic chemotherapy). When chemotherapy is placed directly into the cerebrospinal fluid, an organ, or a body cavity such as the abdomen, the drugs mainly affect cancer cells in those areas (regional chemotherapy). The way the chemotherapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.
New types of treatment are being tested in clinical trials.
Information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.
Patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial.
For some patients, taking part in a clinical trial may be the best treatment choice. Clinical trials are part of the medical research process. Clinical trials are done to find out if new treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard treatment.
Many of today's standard treatments for disease are based on earlier clinical trials. Patients who take part in a clinical trial may receive the standard treatment or be among the first to receive a new treatment.
Patients who take part in clinical trials also help improve the way diseases will be treated in the future. Even when clinical trials do not lead to effective new treatments, they often answer important questions and help move research forward.
Patients can enter clinical trials before, during, or after starting their treatment.
Some clinical trials only include patients who have not yet received treatment. Other trials test treatments for patients whose disease has not gotten better. There are also clinical trials that test new ways to stop a disease from recurring (coming back) or reduce the side effects of treatment.
Clinical trials are taking place in many parts of the country. See the Treatment Options section that follows for links to current treatment clinical trials. These have been retrieved from NCI's clinical trials database.
Follow-up tests may be needed.
Some of the tests that were done to diagnose the disease may be repeated. Some tests will be repeated in order to see how well the treatment is working. Decisions about whether to continue, change, or stop treatment may be based on the results of these tests. This is sometimes called re-staging.
Some of the tests will continue to be done from time to time after treatment has ended. The results of these tests can show if your condition has changed or if the disease has recurred (come back). These tests are sometimes called follow-up tests or check-ups.
Treatment Options for Ovarian Low Malignant Potential Tumors
A link to a list of current clinical trials is included for each treatment section. For some stages, there may not be any trials listed. Check with your doctor for clinical trials that are not listed here but may be right for you.
Early Stage Ovarian Low Malignant Potential Tumors (Stage I and II)
For women who plan to have children, surgery is either:
Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage I borderline ovarian surface epithelial-stromal tumor and stage II borderline ovarian surface epithelial-stromal tumor. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.
Late Stage Ovarian Low Malignant Potential Tumors (Stage III and IV)
Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage III borderline ovarian surface epithelial-stromal tumor and stage IV borderline ovarian surface epithelial-stromal tumor. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.
Recurrent Ovarian Low Malignant Potential Tumors
Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with recurrent borderline ovarian surface epithelial-stromal tumor. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.
To Learn More About Ovarian Low Malignant Potential Tumors
For general cancer information and other resources from the National Cancer Institute, see the following:
What You Need to Know About™ Cancer
Understanding Cancer Series: Cancer
Chemotherapy and You: Support for People With Cancer
Radiation Therapy and You: Support for People With Cancer
Coping with Cancer: Supportive and Palliative Care
Information For Survivors/Caregivers/Advocates
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Changes to This Summary (03/09/2011)
Editorial changes were made to this summary.
PDQ is a comprehensive cancer database available on NCI's Web site.
PDQ is the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) comprehensive cancer information database. Most of the information contained in PDQ is available online at NCI's Web site. PDQ is provided as a service of the NCI. The NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health, the federal government's focal point for biomedical research.
PDQ contains cancer information summaries.
The PDQ database contains summaries of the latest published information on cancer prevention, detection, genetics, treatment, supportive care, and complementary and alternative medicine. Most summaries are available in two versions. The health professional versions provide detailed information written in technical language. The patient versions are written in easy-to-understand, nontechnical language. Both versions provide current and accurate cancer information.
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PDQ also contains information on clinical trials.
A clinical trial is a study to answer a scientific question, such as whether one treatment is better than another. Trials are based on past studies and what has been learned in the laboratory. Each trial answers certain scientific questions in order to find new and better ways to help cancer patients. During treatment clinical trials, information is collected about the effects of a new treatment and how well it works. If a clinical trial shows that a new treatment is better than one currently being used, the new treatment may become "standard." Patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. Some clinical trials are open only to patients who have not started treatment.
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