Ovarian mass and cyst

An ovarian tumor and an ovarian cyst mainly occur in women during childbearing years. The cause is often hormone fluctuations. A cyst is the most common. This can occur in one ovary, but also in both. Sometimes there is a group of cysts. An ovarian tumor is also called ovarian cancer. Cancer can occur on the outside of the ovary but can also be located in the ovary itself. The treatment depends on the type of ovarian tumor.

Tumor of the ovary

A tumor on the ovary is a thickening that should not be there. There are benign growths but also malignant growths. Most growths of the ovary are benign. A growth is not always noticed immediately. This can be present for a long time without causing complaints. The larger the tumor, the sooner the complaints occur. However, even a small growth can cause complaints. This depends on where the tumor is located. In an ovarian tumor we distinguish between solid tissue growths and cysts.

Cyst on the ovary

A cyst is a fluid-filled cavity, similar to a blister on the skin. Various cysts can occur on the ovaries. Most cysts occur during the fertile period. Fluctuations in the hormone balance are the cause of this. After menopause, hormone levels are quite stable and cysts are less common. Cysts are also relatively rare in children.

Corpus luteum cyst

This is a cyst that arises from the corpus luteum. A maturing egg cell and the vesicle in which it is located are called a follicle. When the egg cell is ripe, the follicle bursts open and the egg cell is released (ovulation). The part of the follicle that remains is called the corpus luteum, which produces estrogen and progesterone. If the egg is not fertilized, the corpus luteum will be broken down. The corpus luteum can develop into a cyst. The cyst can also bleed due to a ruptured blood vessel. Pain occurs around the pelvis. The cyst can also burst when it is very large. This then causes very severe abdominal pain. Sometimes the blood loss is so great that the woman goes into shock.

Follicular cyst

A follicular cyst occurs when a follicle does not burst and the egg is not released. A cyst develops that continues to grow and fills with fluid. A small cyst often does not cause any complaints, but a large one does. Menstruation may be disrupted and pain may occur around the pelvis and also during sex. The cyst may bleed, causing very severe pain.

Polycystic ovary syndrome

This involves multiple follicular cysts. This can occur on one or both ovaries. The complaints consist of pain around the pelvis and during sex. Sometimes menstruation does not occur completely. A cyst can bleed, causing severe abdominal pain.

Mucinous cystadenoma

A cyst that develops from cells on the outside of the ovary. This is often a pedunculated cyst. A mucous cystadenoma is filled with mucus and can grow large.

Serous cystadenoma

A serous cystadenoma also arises from cells on the outside of the ovary and is often pedunculated. This cyst is filled with a fluid.

Dermoid cyst

A dermoid cyst is a cyst that is filled with fluid, but also contains other material. The material can consist of bone, dentin, cartilage, sebum, hair, fat, etc. These cysts can become very large and cause pain. Dermoid cysts are relatively rare.

Treatment of cysts

Most cysts disappear on their own, but may persist for several menstrual cycles. In case of serious or acute complaints such as twisting of the cyst or major bleeding, the cyst is removed in its entirety. If the cyst is very large and has affected the ovary, the ovary may also need to be removed.

Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is less common than cysts. When we say cancer, we call it a malignant tumor. On average, 1,100 women develop ovarian cancer every year. Ovarian cancer can be located in the outer layer of the ovary but also in the ovary itself. Ovarian cancer is more common in women who have not had children. The woman often complains of bloating. Nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and difficulty passing stools are also symptoms. Sometimes the abdomen gets bigger while the weight decreases. Ovarian cancer sometimes causes excessive hormone production.
Ovarian cancer is treated through surgery. Cytostatic therapy (chemotherapy) is often used. Ovarian cancer is often discovered quite late. This means the five-year survival rate is approximately 50 percent. This depends on the size, metastases and the moment of discovery. Without metastases, the prognosis is quite good.

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