Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer

What is ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer is a malignant tumour in one or both ovaries. There are three types of ovarian cancer: epithelial ovarian cancers; germ cell ovarian cancers; and sex-cord stromal cancers.

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Ovarian cancer symptoms

Ovarian cancer may not cause symptoms in its early stages, or it may cause vague symptoms that are difficult to recognise. If symptoms occur, they may include:

  • a swollen, bloated abdomen
  • pressure, discomfort or pain in the abdomen
  • heartburn, nausea and bloating
  • changes in toilet habits (e.g. constipation, diarrhoea, frequent urination due to pressure, increased flatulence).

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Ovarian cancer statistics

  • Each year, about 1300 Australian women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
  • It is the ninth most common cancer in women.
  • Ovarian cancer is most common in women over age 50.
  • The average age at diagnosis is 63.

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The aim of this information is to help you understand about ovarian cancer. We cannot advise you about the best treatment for you. You need to discuss this with your doctors. However, we hope this information will answer some of your questions and help you think about the questions you would like to ask your doctors or other health carers.