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An ovarian tumor is an abnormal growth of cells that forms within or on the surface of one or both ovaries. These tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Benign tumors usually do not pose a serious threat and can often be simply removed. However, malignant tumors can be dangerous because they have the ability to spread to other parts of the body.


The diagnosis of ovarian tumors usually begins with a gynecological examination. Ultrasound is often the first step that can indicate the presence of a tumor. Additional methods such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and blood tests (such as CA-125, a marker that can be elevated in ovarian cancer) can help in further evaluation of the tumor. In some cases, laparoscopy—a minimally invasive surgical procedure—may be necessary to obtain a tissue sample for further examination.


The treatment of ovarian tumors depends on the type, size, stage of the disease, and the overall health of the patient. For benign tumors, surgical removal of the tumor can often be sufficient. For malignant tumors, treatment may include a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and sometimes radiotherapy. Surgical intervention involves the removal of the affected ovary, both ovaries, or even the complete removal of reproductive organs in more serious cases. Chemotherapy is used to destroy remaining cancer cells and reduce the risk of the disease returning.