The three most common types of ovarian cancer are epithelial ovarian cancer, germ cell ovarian tumour and sex cord-stromal tumour. A study (2017) has shown that more than 90% of malignant ovarian tumors in developed countries are epithelial in origin, 5%–6% of tumors constitute sex cord-stromal tumors, and 2%–3% are germ cell tumors.
Epithelial ovarian cancer forms in the tissue covering the ovaries. Sex cord-stromal ovarian tumor forms in the tissues that support ovaries. This tumor releases sex hormones and is mostly formed of granulosa cells, sertoli cell and leydig cell tumors. The germ cell tumour occurs in the cells that produce sperm and eggs. The germ cell tumours mostly affect the ovaries because it is where most germ cells are. However, a germ cell tumour can affect any part of the body once developed in the womb.
According to the Cancer Research UK website, another type is the borderline ovarian tumour. This ovarian tumour is also called a borderline tumour because it grows in the tissue covering the ovary. Borderline ovarian tumour is often not considered serious because the cancer cells often do not spread and can be killed with surgery. In rare conditions, cancer cells begin to grow and spread again.
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