Ovarian Low Malignant Potential Tumors

General Information

What is ovarian low malignant potential tumor?

Ovarian low malignant potential tumor is a disease in which precancerous cells (cells that may, or are likely to, become cancer) form in the tissue covering the ovary. Ovarian low malignant potential tumor is considered precancerous (or premalignant), a condition that may (or is likely to) become cancer. This disease seldom spreads beyond the ovary. When disease is found in one ovary, the other ovary also should 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 function).

Certain factors affect treatment options and prognosis (chance of recovery). The treatment options and prognosis depend on the stage of the cancer (whether it affects part of the ovary, involves the whole ovary, or has spread to other places in the body), the type of cancer, the size of the tumor, and the patient's general health.

In most cases, ovarian low malignant potential tumor can be treated successfully. These tumors are usually found early. Most women, however, survive even advanced stage ovarian low malignant potential tumors. Patients who do not survive usually die from complications of the disease (such as a small bowel obstruction) 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 cancer cells have spread within the ovary or to other parts of the body. The process used to find out whether cancer has 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 the best treatment. Certain tests or procedures are used to determine stage. Staging laparotomy (a surgical incision made in the wall of the abdomen to remove ovarian tissue) may be used. Most patients are diagnosed with stage I disease.

(Refer to Ovarian Epithelial Cancer Treatment for information on the stages used for ovarian cancer.)

Recurrent Ovarian Low Malignant Potential Tumors
Recurrent ovarian low malignant potential tumor is cancer that has recurred (come back) after it has been treated. Recurrent ovarian low malignant potential tumor may come back in the other ovary or in other parts of the body.

Treatment Option Overview

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. Before starting treatment, patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. A treatment clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with cancer. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the "standard" treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment.

Clinical trials are taking place in many parts of the country. Choosing the most appropriate cancer treatment is a decision that ideally involves the patient, family, and health care team.

Two types of standard treatment are used:

The type of surgery (removing the tumor in an operation) depends on the extent of the disease and the woman's plans for having children. Surgery may include the following:

Unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy: Removal of one ovary and one fallopian tube (a long slender tube through which eggs pass from the ovary to the uterus).

Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy: Removal of both ovaries and both fallopian tubes.

Hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy: Removal of the uterus and both ovaries and fallopian tubes.

Partial oophorectomy: Removal of part of one or both ovaries.

Omentectomy: Partial removal of the lining of the abdominal cavity.

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 increase the chances of a cure is called adjuvant therapy.

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill tumor cells. Chemotherapy may be taken by mouth, or it may be put into the body by inserting a needle into a vein or muscle. Either type of chemotherapy is called systemic treatment because the drugs enter the bloodstream, travel through the body, and can kill tumor cells throughout the body.

Other types of treatment are being tested in clinical trials.

Treatment Options By Stage

Early Stage Ovarian Low Malignant Potential Tumors (Stage I/II)
Surgery is the standard treatment for early stage ovarian low malignant potential tumor. The type of surgery usually depends on whether a woman plans to have children.

For women who plan to have children, surgery is either:

-unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy; or
-partial oophorectomy.

To prevent recurrence of disease, most doctors recommend surgery to remove the remaining ovarian tissue when a woman no longer plans to have children.

For women who do not plan to have children, treatment may be:

-Hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.

Late Stage Ovarian Low Malignant Potential Tumors (Stage III)
Treatment for late stage ovarian low malignant potential tumor may be:

Hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, and omentectomy. A lymph node dissection may also be performed. Lymph nodes are small bean-shaped structures that are found throughout the body. They filter harmful substances in a fluid called lymph and help fight infection and disease.

Treatment Options for Recurrent Ovarian Low Malignant Potential Tumors

Treatment for recurrent ovarian low malignant potential tumor (cancer that has come back after it has been treated) may include the following:

2.Surgery followed by chemotherapy.

The information on this page was obtained from the National Cancer Institute. The National Cancer Institute provides accurate, up-to-date information on many types of cancer, information on clinical trials, resources for people dealing with cancer, and information for researchers and health professionals.

The National Cancer Institute is in no way affiliated with the Mary Stolfa Cancer Foundation.

The information on this web site is provided for general information only. It is not intended as medical advice, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with qualified health professionals who are familiar with your individual medical needs. The MSCF disclaims all obligations and liabilities for damages arising from the use or attempted use of the information, including but not limited to direct, indirect, special, and consequential damages, attorneys' and experts' fees and court costs. Any use of the information will be at the risk of the user.

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