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Management of low-grade serous carcinomas of the ovary

David M Gershenson, MD
Michael J Birrer, MD, PhD
Section Editors
Barbara Goff, MD
Don S Dizon, MD, FACP
Deputy Editor
Sadhna R Vora, MD


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 most common epithelial ovarian cancer histologic subtype is serous. Approximately 90 percent of serous carcinomas are high-grade, and 10 percent are low-grade. Low-grade serous carcinoma of the ovary or peritoneum appears to exist on a continuum with serous borderline tumors, which are likely precursor lesions, and has a distinct pathology, clinical behavior, and prognosis compared with high-grade serous carcinoma. Thus, a diagnosis of low-grade serous carcinoma may be made de novo or following an original diagnosis of serous borderline tumor.

The pathogenesis, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of low-grade serous carcinoma will be reviewed here. Aspects of the management of ovarian and peritoneal carcinomas (of higher grade) as well as borderline ovarian tumors are discussed elsewhere.

(See "Overview of epithelial carcinoma of the ovary, fallopian tube, and peritoneum".)

(See "Cancer of the ovary, fallopian tube, and peritoneum: Staging and initial surgical management".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: May 15, 2017.
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