Ovarian Cancer


First, it is important to know that a cell is the smallest unit of all living organisms. The set of cells forms the tissues and these in turn form the organs of the body. When cells in the body begin to grow abnormally and uncontrollably, cancer originates.

The term ovarian cancer is used to describe cancer that originates in the cells of the ovary, fallopian tubes and peritoneum.

women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer by age 70.

1 in 100

Most cases of ovarian cancer occur sporadically in people with or without a family history of cancer, however, approximately 10-25% of people diagnosed with ovarian cancer may develop it due to an inherited genetic mutation.

How is cancer "inherited"?

Cancer can be inherited to a family member through DNA. DNA is the hereditary or genetic material that determines each human being and is found in almost all living beings. It is made up of genes that are responsible for coordinating the functions of each cell in the body, allowing the creation of vital substances and the formation of new cells for tissue regeneration.

There are many genes with different functions, among which are BRCA1 y BRCA2, genes that prevent the formation of tumors, helping to repair DNA damage, which allows the body to remain healthy.

When any of these genes is altered or mutated, it does not function properly. As a result, the cells are more prone to alterations that can lead to cancer.

Signs and symptoms

It was previously believed that ovarian cancer was a silent disease that was only diagnosed in the most advanced stages (stages III and IV), however, common symptoms have been observed in women with this condition from earlier stages of the disease. 

Some of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer are:

CC-10174 / JULY 2025

Cáncer de ovario, de las trompas de Falopio y peritoneal: Introducción, Cancer.net. Disponible en: http://www.cancer.net/es/tipos-de-c%C3%A1ncer/c%C3%A1ncer-deovario-de-las-trompas-de-falopio-y-peritoneal/introducci%C3%B3n

Easton DF. How many more breast cancer predisposition genes are there? Breast Cancer Research 1999; 1(1):14–17.

Goff BA, Mandel LS, Drescher CW, Urban N, Gough S, Schurman KM, et al. Development of an ovarian cancer symptom index. Cancer. 2007;109(2):221-7.

Ovarian cancer. Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD) – an NCATS Program. Disponible en:https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/7295/ovarian-cancer

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