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Ovarian Cancer

Get the answers to your most common questions about the signs and causes of ovarian cancer from the experts at Baptist Cancer.

Ovarian Cancer Explained

Originating in the ovaries, ovarian cancer has three main types of ovarian cancer tumors: epithelial tumors, germ cell tumors and stromal tumors. Most ovarian tumors are epithelial tumors that start in the cells that cover outer part of ovaries. According to, ovarian cancer accounts for about 3% of cancers among women, but it causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system.

Ovarian Cancer Treatment Options

Imaging tests, blood screening and other diagnostics will be used to help your physicians diagnose ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is treated in a variety of ways and your physicians and specialists will design a treatment plan for you based on your individual diagnosis. Ovarian cancer treatment can include surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy and radiation therapy.

Learn the Symptoms and Causes

Recognizing the signs of ovarian cancer allows for timely intervention, potentially increasing the chances of successful treatment and improving your quality of life.

There are some early signs of ovarian cancer that can be helpful for early detection. These symptoms include swelling or bloating in your abdomen, stomach pain, bladder problems, and trouble eating. Since these symptoms are commonly associated with a variety of other medical ailments, it can sometimes be difficult to detect ovarian cancer without proper testing.

Some other common signs of ovarian cancer include:

  • Fatigue
  • Upset stomach
  • Back pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Constipation
  • Changes in monthly period
  • Abdominal swelling

Ovarian cancer symptoms tend to be persistent and a change from what is normal. If symptoms such as bloating, pelvic pain, trouble eating, or urinary symptoms occur more than 12 times a month, it’s important to meet with a doctor and discuss any concerns.

As with most types of cancer, early detection is key when it comes to ovarian cancer treatment.

What are the risk factors and ovarian cancer causes?

Family history of ovarian cancer is an important indicator of a heightened risk for developing ovarian cancer. There are several other ovarian cancer causes and risk factors, including:

  • Age, as a woman ages her risk for developing ovarian cancer increases
  • Obesity has been linked to an increase risk of developing ovarian cancer
  • Women who have healthy full-term pregnancies can lower their risk
  • Women who use birth control can lower their risk
  • Tubal ligation and hysterectomies can help lower a woman's risk of developing ovarian cancer
  • Certain hormone treatments can raise a woman's risk of developing cancer
  • Having breast cancer can raise your risk for developing ovarian cancer
  • Diets high in fat can raise your risk for developing ovarian cancer
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Connect With a Patient Navigator

As a patient at Baptist Cancer Center, you will have access to a dedicated patient navigator who will act as your advocate and liaison between you and your health care teams. Our patient navigators are available at every step to schedule appointments, answer questions, explain the treatment process, and provide resources, education and support when you and your family need it.