Oncology: Find questions and answers about ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer facts about ovarian cancer symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. Designed to review facts about ovarian cancer for those studying for USMLE medical board exams. This review is useful for medical information about ovarian cancer. Fact: Transvaginal ultrasound is used for screening for ovarian cancer, however this is not a great screening test because it does not pickup early-stage disease.
Fact: Serous and endometrial ovarian cancers have a better prognosis.
Fact: Mucinous and Clear cell ovarian cancers have a poor prognosis.
Fact: 50% of ovarian cancers are of the serous subtype.
Fact: 5% ovarian cancers are of Clear cell subtype.
Fact: Borderline tumors of the ovary have a good prognosis even in the setting of intra-abdominal spread with 80% survival at 5 years.
Fact: Ovarian cancer in older patients is associated with more aggressive disease.
Fact: Prognostic factors for ovarian cancer include age, stage of disease, volume of residual disease, histological grade and type, and molecular biological factors.
Fact: 75% of ovarian cancers diagnosed or stage III or IV disease.
Fact: Her-2/Neu is overexpressing 10% of ovarian cancers.
Fact: Cisplatin and carboplatin provide similar efficacy when combined with paclitaxel for the treatment of ovarian cancer. Question: What is the lifetime risk for developing ovarian cancer in the US? Answer: For women in the US, the lifetime risk of developing ovarian cancer is 1.4-1.8%
Question: Does the prolonged use of oral contraceptives affect the risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer? Answer: Yes, use of oral contraceptive pills over long durations lowers the risk of developing epithelial ovarian
Question: Is there an association between BRCA 1 and ovarian cancer? Answer: Yes, there is a 16% overall risk of developing ovarian cancer by age 70 for women with the BRCA 1 gene mutation. There is evidence that this risk is increased if the woman not only had the BRCA 1 but also a strong family history of ovarian cancer
Question: The CA 125 is an accepted tumor marker for ovarian cancer, can an elevated CA 125 be associated with other cancers? Answer: Yes, the CA 125 is often elevated in patients with multiple cancers including breast cancer, lung cancer, pancreas cancer, and endometrial cancer. It can also be elevated in women with many benign disease such as cirrhosis, uterine leiomyoma, and endometriosis. It has also been reported to be elevated in approximately 1% of normal healthy women as well
Question: What are the criteria for poor prognosis limited stage ovarian cancers? Answer: Poor prognosis for early stage ovarian cancer is present when there is stage IC disease, stage II disease, clear cell histology, or any histologic grade 3 tumors
Question: What are some ovarian tumors associated with elevated serum AFP? Answer: Yolk sac tumors, embryonal carcinoma, and mixed germ cell tumors can be associated with elevations in the serum AFP
Question: Primary peritoneal carcinoma is similar to ovarian cancer but thought to be distinct. What are the criteria developed by the gynecologic Oncology Group to define primary peritoneal carcinoma? Answer: The ovaries have to be of normal size, or enlarged by a benign process, predominantly serous histology, extraovarian involvement more than ovarian involvement, and surface involvement of less than 5mm depth
Question: Can the CA 125 be used to make the diagnosis of malignancy? Answer: No, the CA 125 is not used for diagnosis and cannot replace a tissue biopsy. The CA 125 is used only as a tumor marker as another tool to follow the progression of cancer or the response to therapy.
Question: Can the CA 125 be elevated in patients without cancer? Answer: Elevations of the CA 125 can be associated with non-cancerous conditions such as pregnancy, endometriosis, and in patients with peritoneal or abdominal infection or inflammation
Question: What are the three most common adverse prognostic factors seen in ovarian cancer? Answer: Advanced stage, high grade tumor, and suboptimally debulked disease are the most common adverse prognostic factors in ovarian cancer
Question: How often is the CA 125 elevated in patients with endometrial cancer? Answer: Approximately 15% of patients with endometrial can
Question: What is the lifetime risk for developing ovarian cancer in the US? Answer: For women in the US, the lifetime risk of developing ovarian cancer is 1.4-1.8%