Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Answers
Endometriotic cysts are almost always surgically removed, usually via ‘keyhole’ (laparoscopic) surgery.
Malignant ovarian cysts
Whilst the majority of ovarian cysts are benign, some will be found to be malignant. Benign and malignant cysts have one thing in common. Both tend to be symptom-less. When symptoms start to appear with malignant cysts, the disease is usually fairly advanced. The symptoms will therefore be due to the spread of the disease elsewhere rather than the primary cyst.
The incidence of ovarian cancer is estimated at 10 -15 per 100,000 women per year. It is the second commonest gynaecological cancer after cancer of the lining of the womb. In UK, around 4,400 women die of the disease every year. The figure in the United States is 16.000. Worldwide, annual mortality is estimated at 125,000. Ovarian cancer is deadly mainly because of late presentation and absence of symptoms in the early stages.
Malignant ovarian cysts tend to be complex on ultrasound scan. This prompts investigations which will include blood tests for levels of bio-markers such as CA-125 and others, hormone profile and, where still unclear, a surgical diagnostic procedure, usually laparoscopy.
Surgical excision of the cyst is usually done via keyhole (laparoscopy) surgery. However, this is not always feasible or desirable and therefore, in some cases, an open procedure (laparotomy) is done.
Ovarian cysts before puberty
For children who have not reached puberty, it is unusual for ovarian cysts to develop. Cysts have been occasionally found in infants and rarely even in fetuses yet to be born. Pre-puberty ovarian cysts have always got to be actively investigated. In many cases, these will be innocuous and conservative management is sufficient. However, in some cases, presence of ovarian cysts could be a manifestation of a hormonal disorder requiring medical or surgical intervention.
Last update: October 07, 2012
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