The most common types of ovarian cancer are epithelial cancers. These arise in the lining of the ovary, fallopian tubes or the peritoneum (the lining that covers the organs inside your abdomen). Although it's possible for younger women to get epithelial cancers, these usually affect women over the age of 45 years.
In younger women, the more common types are:
- Borderline tumours – these are tumours that are neither completely benign (don't contain cancer) nor cancerous. The cells are slowly dividing and are not likely to be invasive. The treatment usually consists of surgery only.
- Germ cell tumours – these tumours begin in the egg cells of the ovary. With this type of tumour it may be possible just to remove the aﬀected ovary and fallopian tube to allow you to have children in the future. There's speciﬁc chemotherapy for germ cell tumours which varies from that used in other types of ovarian cancer. Types of germ cell tumours include yolk sac tumours, embryonal carcinoma, immature teratoma, choriocarcinoma, and dysgerminoma.
- Granulosa and Sertoli–Leydig cell tumours – these are very rare cancers that arise in the supportive tissue of the ovary.
Here you can find out more about treatment and hormone replacement therapy; relationships and family; body image and sexuality; coping if you have children; fertility; and practical and financial support.