Ovarian Cancer - Stages and Types of Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is a complex disease. It is one of the most common gynecological cancers among Indian women. Having a better understanding of this cancer, with respect to its occurrence, prevalence, and types can help women catch it in its early stages and receive appropriate treatment.

What Is Ovarian Cancer?

When the normal cells in the ovaries undergo undesirable genetic mutations and start dividing uncontrollably, an abnormal mass of cells or tumor is formed. This is referred to as ovarian cancer.

As a part of the female reproductive system, ovaries are responsible for the production of eggs and hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Often, ovarian carcinoma may not cause any symptoms in the early stages, and even if it does it overlaps with the symptoms of other more common gynecological conditions. It is, therefore, important for women to not ignore any gynecological issues, especially if they are persistent, and see a doctor for a proper evaluation.

How Common Is Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer is one of the top five cancers among Indian women. This cancer type poses a significant health burden globally, too. In India, ovarian carcinoma is often diagnosed in advanced stages, as its symptoms are misleading and there are no standard screening protocols for its early detection. Undergoing regular health checkups and not ignoring any gynecological symptoms can help in the timely diagnosis and treatment of ovarian carcinoma.

Are All Ovarian Tumors Cancerous?

Not all ovarian tumors are cancerous. In fact, the majority of ovarian tumors are benign, meaning they are non-cancerous. Benign ovarian tumors are not life-threatening and can be treated with conservative measures or may not require treatment at all. However, if they are malignant, they will need immediate attention. In most cases, malignant ovarian tumors are treated with a comprehensive care approach, which will involve multiple treatment modalities.

What Are Different Types of Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer isn't a single disease but comprises several types, each with distinct characteristics. This distinction is made based on the type of cell from which it arises.

What Are the Ovarian Cancer Stages?

Upon arriving at a definitive diagnosis, ovarian cancer staging is performed. Ovarian carcinoma staging is essential for determining the extent of the disease and planning appropriate treatment. The stages are categorized as follows:

Ovarian cancer staging is crucial for gyne-oncologists to tailor treatment plans and for patients to comprehend the prognosis.


Ovarian cancer is a complex disease with varying types and stages. Recognizing the differences among these types and stages is vital for early detection and effective treatment. By staying informed and proactive, individuals can empower themselves in the fight against ovarian carcinoma.

Frequently Asked Questions

The seriousness of ovarian cancer depends on various factors, including its stage and type. Small cell carcinoma is considered one of the most aggressive forms.

Small cell carcinoma of the ovary (SCCO) is one of the rarest and most aggressive types of ovarian cancer.

Some ovarian cancers are linked to genetic mutations, such as those associated with the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. These mutations can increase the risk of developing ovarian carcinoma.

Ovarian cancer can develop at any age, but it is more commonly diagnosed in women over the age of 50. However, it can affect women of all ages, including younger individuals.

Yes, ovarian cancers are treatable, especially when detected early. Treatment options may include surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and radiation therapy, depending on the type and stage of cancer, along with the patient’s overall health status.

Ovarian cancer symptoms can be mistaken for various other conditions, such as digestive issues or urinary tract problems. This highlights the importance of consulting a healthcare professional for proper evaluation.

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can develop in the ovaries and are usually non-cancerous. Ovarian cancer, on the other hand, involves the uncontrolled growth of cancerous cells in the ovaries and is a malignant condition.

Ovarian neoplasms refer to abnormal growths or tumors in the ovaries. Ovarian neoplasms may be cancerous or non-cancerous. These growths can include cysts, tumors, or masses that form in or on the ovaries. Ovarian neoplasms will often need prompt medical attention, and their treatment depends on factors like the nature of the neoplasm, their extent, etc.