Ovarian Cancer at Johns Hopkins What's New? Resources Ovarian Cancer Community Coping with Ovarian Cancer Clinical Trials
 

You Should Know

Anatomy

Prevention

Risk Factors

Genetics

Screening

CA 125

Symptoms

Early Detection

Diagnosis

Radiology

Pathologists

Staging

Treatment

Recurrent Disease

Recurrent Q & A

Nutrition

Prognosis

Clinical Trials

Glossary

Discussion Board

Questions for Dr.




Diagnosis: Types of Tumors

Surface Epithelial Tumors

Introduction | Subtypes | Behavior | Treatment
Cancer is not a single disease, but encompasses well over a hundred distinct diseases of different organs. Normally cells divide only when additional cells are required for normal body function. However, at certain times the controls that regulate when a cell divides are lost. This results in accumulation of more and more cells without order. Eventually these cells grow into a mass and this is termed a 'tumor'. It is important to understand that not all tumors are cancer:



Benign tumors are NOT cancer. Benign tumors are only very rarely life-threatening. They do not spread and invade other tissues. Benign tumors can usually be removed and only infrequently grow back.

Borderline or Low Malignant Potential (LMP) tumors are a borderline form of cancer that may eventually spread and invade other tissues. This is a gray zone. Most of these tumors are benign but a few spread and progress. There are certain features that allow the pathologist to predict with some degree of confidence how one of these tumors will behave.



Malignant tumors are cancer. Malignant cancer will spread beyond the ovary, invading and damaging other organs of the body. The spread of cancer beyond its tissue of origin is called metastasis.



Introduction
Surface epithelial tumors account for ~60% of all ovarian neoplasms and 80-90% of malignant ovarian tumors. Serous tumors are the most common subtype. The generic term "ovarian cancer" usually refers to serous carcinoma, the most common type of malignant ovarian tumor in adults.

Surface epithelial neoplasms are also classified into subtypes based on the type of epithelial differentiation that is present in the tumor. The subtypes include serous, mucinous, endometrioid, clear cell, and transitional cell. The subtypes derive their names from the tissue that they most closely resemble:

Subtypes

Type of differentiation

Tissue that tumor most closely resembles

Serous

Fallopian tube epithelium

Mucinous

GI tract or endocervical epithelium

Endometrioid

Proliferative endometrium

Clear cell

Gestational endometrium

Transitional cell (Brenner)

Urinary tract epithelium

 

Epithelial tumors also exhibit a spectrum of behavior:

Behavior

Degree of benignancy/malignancy

Pathologic Features

Benign

Simple, non-stratified epithelium, with no cytologic atypia

Atypical proliferative tumor (low malignant potential, borderline)

Epithelial proliferation with stratification and tufting, variable mitotic activity and nuclear atypia, no stromal invasion

Malignant (Carcinoma)

Stromal invasion and cytologic atypia

 

Surface epithelial neoplasms of the ovary are classified based on the degree of epithelial proliferation and presence or absence of stromal invasion into morphologically benign and malignant subtypes. The pathology report contains the diagnosis.


Treatment of epithelial neoplasms

  
     
HONcode Logo We subscribe to the HONcode principles. Verify

Copyright © 2000-2014 Johns Hopkins University.
All rights reserved.
Disclaimer & Privacy   Last modified March 24, 2003