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Diagnosis: Types of Tumors
Epithelial Cancer: Undifferentiated carcinomas|
Undifferentiated carcinomas show no readily identifiable features of any of the cell types of ovarian surface epithelial neoplasms. There are three types of primary ovarian undifferentiated carcinoma, referred to as follows: undifferentiated carcinoma, the hypercalcemic type of small cell carcinoma, and the pulmonary type of small cell carcinoma. When strict pathologic criteria are employed for these diagnoses, all three types are very uncommon. In all cases when this diagnosis is considered, it is very important to exclude metastatic tumor, particularly from the lungs. Although data are limited, undifferentiated carcinoma appears to be more common than the small cell types, both of which are very rare. However, the small cell type of undifferentiated carcinoma associated with hypercalcemia is the most common type of undifferentiated carcinoma in women under age 40 years. For the usual type of undifferentiated carcinoma, the mean age at presentation is 60 years. Seventy-eight percent of patients present in stages III and IV.