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Benign Ovarian Tumor

 What is a benign ovarian tumor?
 What is the cause?
 What are the symptoms?
 How is it diagnosed?
 How is it treated?
 How can I take care of myself?

Female Pelvis: Illustration
Female Pelvis: IllustrationClick here to view a full size picture.

What is a benign ovarian tumor?

An ovarian tumor is a growth of abnormal cells in an ovary. The 2 ovaries are part of the female reproductive system. They produce eggs and the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Tumors without cancer cells are called benign. Benign tumors do not spread to other parts of your body. An ovarian tumor is a solid mass and different from a cyst filled with fluid.

What is the cause?

The exact cause of benign ovarian tumors is not always known. Different types of tumors can have different causes. There are 3 types of ovarian tumors and they can start from:

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms depend on the size, location, and type of tumor. Some tumors don’t cause any symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they may include:

They may not be found until you have a regular checkup with your healthcare provider.

How is it diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider may find a tumor during a routine pelvic exam.

Tests may include:

How is it treated?

Surgery is usually needed to remove the tumor. If the ovary with the tumor gets twisted, it can cause severe belly pain, nausea, and vomiting. In this case you may need surgery right away before the tumor damages the ovary.

Sometimes the whole ovary is removed. At the time of surgery your other ovary is carefully checked to make sure that it does not also have a tumor. Rarely, both ovaries have to be removed.

A tumor that is removed will be checked for cancer.

How can I take care of myself?

Follow the full course of treatment prescribed by your healthcare provider.

Ask your healthcare provider:

Make sure you know when you should come back for a checkup, including a pelvic exam and Pap test. Keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.

healthinformatics info


ACOG Practice Bulletin: Management of Adnexal Masses. Number 83, July 2007(Reaffirmed 2013).

Gibbs, RS, Karlan, BY, et al. Danforth’s Obstetrics and Gynecology, 10th ed., Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008. (Accessed October 2, 2012 @ http://www.ovid.com).

Hoffman, M., et al Overview of the evaluation and management of adnexal masses http://www.UpToDate.com. Accessed October 15, 2014.

Muto, M., et al. Approach to the Patient with an Adnexal Mass. Accessed October 15, 2014 from http://www.UpToDate.com.

Katz V., G. Lentz, R. Lobo, D. Gershenson. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Mosby Elsevier, 2007. Accessed on October 4, 2010 from http://www.mdconsult.com.

Schorge, J., J. Schaeffer, L. Hoalvorson, B. Hoffmen, K. Bradshaw, F. Cunningham. Williams Gynecology. 1st ed. The Mcgraw Hill Companies, Inc. 2008. Accessed February 1, 2009 from http://www.accessmedicine.com.

Related Topics

Benign Ovarian Tumor

Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cyst

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Last Modified: 2015-04-03

Last Reviewed: 2014-10-16

Website Updated: August 2015

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This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.

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