General Information About Ovarian Low Malignant Potential Tumors
Key Points for This Section
- Ovarian low malignant potential tumor is a disease in which abnormal cells form in the tissue covering the ovary.
- Signs and symptoms of ovarian low malignant potential tumor include pain or swelling in the abdomen.
- Tests that examine the ovaries are used to detect (find), diagnose, and stage ovarian low malignant potential tumor.
- Certain factors affect prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options.
Ovarian low malignant potential tumors have abnormal cells 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 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 make eggs and female hormones.
Ovarian low malignant potential tumor may not cause early signs or symptoms. If you do have signs or symptoms, they may include the following:
- Pain or swelling in the abdomen.
- Pain in the pelvis.
- Gastrointestinal problems, such as gas, bloating, or constipation.
These signs and symptoms may be caused by other conditions. If they get worse or do not go away on their own, check with your doctor.
The following tests and procedures may be used:
- Physical exam and history : An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient’s health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
- Pelvic exam : An exam of the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and rectum. The doctor or nurse inserts one or two lubricated, gloved fingers of one hand into the vagina and places the other hand over the lower abdomen to feel the size, shape, and position of the uterus and ovaries. A speculum is also inserted into the vagina and the doctor or nurse looks at the vagina and cervix for signs of disease. A Pap test of the cervix is usually done. The doctor or nurse also inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to feel for lumps or abnormal areas.
- Ultrasound exam: A procedure in which high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) are bounced off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of body tissues called a sonogram. The picture can be printed to be looked at later.transvaginal ultrasound.
- CT scan (CAT scan): A procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, taken from different angles. The pictures are made by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography.
- CA 125 assay : A test that measures the level of CA 125 in the blood. CA 125 is a substance released by cells into the bloodstream. An increased CA 125 level is sometimes a sign of cancer or other condition.
- Chest x-ray : An x-ray of the organs and bones inside the chest. An x-ray is a type of energy beam that can go through the body and onto film, making a picture of areas inside the body.
- Biopsy : The removal of cells or tissues so they can be viewed under a microscope by a pathologist to check for signs of cancer. The tissue is usually removed during surgery to remove the tumor.
- 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.
Patients with ovarian low malignant potential tumors have a good prognosis, especially when the tumor is found early.