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ovarian cancer logoWhat is Ovarian Cancer?

Women have 2 ovaries, each the size of a walnut. These are located in the pelvis on either side of the womb. The ovaries contain eggs and produce the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone. Ovarian cancer can occur as a malignant tumour in one or both ovaries. Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer in Singapore.*

* Singapore Cancer Registry, Interim Annual Registry Report, Trends in Cancer Incidence in Singapore 2010-2014

Overview

ovarian diagram 1

Each ovary is made up of different cells, each performing its own function. When these cells grow abnormally, cancer occurs. Ovarian cancer can take various forms such as:

  • Epithelial tumours – Most ovarian cancers arise from the surface epithelium of the ovary
  • Germ cell tumours – These tumours occur in egg producing cells of the ovary
  • Stromal tumours – These develop in the oestrogen and progesterone producing tissue that holds the ovary together