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Epithelial carcinoma of the ovary, fallopian tube, and peritoneum: Clinical features and diagnosis

Lee-may Chen, MD
Jonathan S Berek, MD, MMS
Section Editors
Barbara Goff, MD
Don S Dizon, MD, FACP
Deputy Editor
Sandy J Falk, MD, FACOG


Ovarian cancer is the second most common gynecologic malignancy and the most common cause of gynecologic cancer death in the United States (see "Epithelial carcinoma of the ovary, fallopian tube, and peritoneum: Epidemiology and risk factors", section on 'Epidemiology'). The majority of ovarian malignancies (95 percent) are derived from epithelial cells; the remainder arise from other ovarian cell types (germ cell tumors, sex cord-stromal tumors) (figure 1) [1].

High-grade serous epithelial ovarian carcinoma (EOC), fallopian tubal, and peritoneal carcinomas are considered a single clinical entity due to their shared clinical behavior and treatment. There is also accumulating evidence of a common pathogenesis for these carcinomas. We will use the term EOC to refer this group of malignancies in the discussion that follows. Distinctions between these conditions, where present, will be addressed. (See "Pathogenesis of ovarian, fallopian tubal, and peritoneal serous carcinomas".)

The clinical features and diagnosis of EOC are reviewed here. An overview of these neoplasms can be found separately. (See "Overview of epithelial carcinoma of the ovary, fallopian tube, and peritoneum".) Related topics are discussed in detail separately, including:

Screening of asymptomatic women (See "Screening for ovarian cancer".)

Pathogenesis (See "Pathogenesis of ovarian, fallopian tubal, and peritoneal serous carcinomas".)


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Sep 9, 2016.
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