Ovaries are part of the female reproductive system. They produce eggs and as well as the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Ovarian cancer is a fairly common form of cancer in women; affecting over 22,000 women in the United States each year. Roughly half of patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer are over the age of 60. While there are numerous types of ovarian cancer, the majority of cases originate in the epithelial cells that cover the ovaries. A second, less common type, called stromal ovarian cancer, originates in the germ cells that manufacture eggs.
The risk factors affecting ovarian cancer include family history, never having been pregnant and prolonged menopausal hormone therapy. Later stage symptoms may include bloating, pressure or pain in the abdomen, nausea and fatigue.