What is a Complex Cystic Neoplasm of the Ovary?
Neoplasms of the ovary may be cystic, solid or mixed. Neoplasms can simply be annoying nuisances that are noncancerous or they can be malignant. They may be slow-growing or aggressive. There are three categories of the ovarian complex cystic neoplasm:
Mucinous cystadenoma - These are usually benign but can sometimes grow quite large. The woman may even have the appearance of a pregnant woman.
Serous cystadenoma - These neoplasms are benign.
Adenocarcinoma - These neoplasms are malignant.
Diagnosis of a complex cystic neoplasm of the ovary usually occurs due to the findings of a pelvic exam. The physician may feel a mass or the patient may begin to have symptoms such as abdominal pain or sudden weight gain. Tests performed to confirm the diagnosis usually include a sonogram or ultrasound. Physicians may perform a biopsy to gain access to tissues to send to a pathologist to confirm if the neoplasm is malignant or benign. Eighty percent of neoplasms of the ovary turn out to be benign.
Risk factors for developing complex cystic neoplasms include age, having a child late in life or not having any children. When the patient started menses can also be a risk factor, with early menarche presenting a greater risk. Starting menopause early can be a risk factor as well. Family history such as a sister or a mother having complex cystic neoplasm of the ovary is also considered a risk factor.
If the neoplasm is benign the physician will usually perform a simple excision. This is usually accomplished by performing a laparotomy. If the neoplasm is found to be malignant, the treatment will depend on the extent to which it has spread or how large the mass is. Surgery may be performed. Just the ovary involved can be removed or, for larger tumors, a total hysterectomy may be performed. This involves removing the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes. Chemotherapy is also utilized post-operatively. Radiation may be utilized, but its use is very rare for neoplasms of the ovaries.
If the patient hasn’t gone through menopause yet, she may experience postmenopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness following surgery. Discuss these symptoms with your physician. They can advise you about the best way to control them. Chemotherapy may cause loss of hair, vomiting, diarrhea and weakness.
As with any cancer, early detection is key. Symptoms may not always be present with complex cystic neoplasm of the ovary and, if symptoms appear, it may be in the late stages. Regular physical examinations and Pap smears are key to diagnosing ovarian cancer in its early stages. If you experience any of the symptoms above, consult a physician. Your physician may refer you to gynecologist for further examination.
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