Cancer develops when cells in the body begin changing and multiplying out of control. These cells can form lumps of tissue called tumors. Cancer that starts in the ovaries is called ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer can spread from the ovaries to other parts of the body.
Understanding the Ovaries
The ovaries are a pair of walnut-sized organs in a woman's pelvic area. They are located on either side of the uterus (the organ that holds the baby when a woman is pregnant). Ovaries make and release the eggs which, when combined with a man's sperm, can grow into a baby. The ovaries also make the female hormones progesterone and estrogen.
When Ovarian Cancer Forms
There are three different types of ovarian tumors:
- Epithelial tumors form in the cells that cover the outer surface of the ovaries. This is the most common type of ovarian cancer.
- Germ cell tumors form in the cells inside the ovary that produce eggs. These rare tumors are most common in women in their teens and early twenties.
- Stromal tumors grow from the cells that make female hormones. This is one of the least common forms of ovarian cancer.
Treatment Options for Ovarian Cancer
You and your doctor will discuss a treatment plan that's best for your needs. Treatments and surgical options may include:
- Surgery to remove the ovaries and surrounding tissue and organs
- Chemotherapy, which uses strong medications to kill cancer cells. This treatment is often used along with surgery.
- Radiation therapy, which uses directed rays of energy to kill cancer cells.
All surgery presents risk, including da Vinci Surgery. Results, including cosmetic results, may vary. Serious complications may occur may occur in any surgery, up to and including death. Examples of serious and life-threatening complications, which may require hospitalization, include injury to tissues or organs; bleeding; infection, and internal scarring that can cause long-lasting dysfunction or pain. Temporary pain or nerve injury has been linked to the inverted position often used during abdominal and pelvic surgery. Patients should understand that risks of surgery include potential for human error and potential for equipment failure. Risk specific to minimally invasive surgery may include: a longer operative time; the need to convert the procedure to an open approach; or the need for additional or larger incision sites. Converting the procedure to open could mean a longer operative time, long time under anesthesia, and could lead to increased complications. Research suggests that there may be an increased risk of incision-site hernia with single-incision surgery. Patients who bleed easily, have abnormal blood clotting, are pregnant or morbidly obese are typically not candidates for minimally invasive surgery, including da Vinci Surgery. Other surgical approaches are available. Patients should review the risks associated with all surgical approaches. They should talk to their doctors about their surgical experience and to decide if da Vinci is right for them. For more complete information on surgical risks, safety and indications for use, please refer to http://www.davincisurgery.com/da-vinci-surgery/safety-information.php.
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PN 1002239 Rev A 04/2013 U 07/09/2012