Ovarian cancer

  • F. Grünwald
  • B. Grünwald
  • G. Lucignani


Ovarian cancer is the 5th frequent malignant tumor in women. Because of its overall poor prognosis at the time of detection, it is one of the most frequent causes of cancer-associated death in women. Epithelial ovarian cancers rank fifth of the overall mortality statistics in Western Europe and the United States. Only 20% of all ovarian cancers are classified as borderline tumors with low malignancy potential. The mean incidence of ovarian cancer is 13/ 100 000 per year, showing a clear age dependency. In 40-year-old women the incidence is around 15/100000, whereas it is 55/100 000 in 75-year-old women. More than 90% of all ovarian tumors belong to the sporadic form with unknown etiology. In hereditary ovarian cancer at least two first-degree relatives are affected. It is important to differentiate between hereditary ovarian cancer and families with ovarian and breast cancer. The latter are associated in more than 90% with a mutation of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. In addition to genetic risk factors, old age, early menarche, late menopause, nullipara and white race are associated with an increased risk for ovarian cancer. Births, breast feeding and the use of oral contraceptives are known to be protective with respect to ovarian cancer.


Ovarian Cancer Borderline Tumor Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma Malignant Ovarian Tumor Positron Emission Tomogra 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Grünwald
  • B. Grünwald
  • G. Lucignani

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