Types of Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is not just one disease.

There are 30 types of ovarian cancer, each with its own histological characteristics and behaviors. Most are identified within three major groups depending upon the type of cells from which they originated. New types are being identified regularly. Most of them fall into one of three major groups:

Epithelial Tumors

90% of all ovarian cancer is epithelial in nature, beginning in the surface (epithelial) lining of the ovaries.

Common
Epithelial Tumors

Serous
Endometroid
Mucinous
Clear cell

Rare Epithelial Tumors

Brenner
Undifferentiated
Transitional cell
Borderline
Low malignant potential

Germ Cell Tumors

These types of tumors form in the cells that produce the ova (eggs) and represent only about 5% of all ovarian cancers. They are most common in younger women and are highly curable.

Common
Germ Cell Tumors

Embryonal carcinoma
Teratoma
Polyembryoma
Dysgerminoma

Rare
Germ Cell Tumors

Endodermal Sinus
Choriocarcinoma
Mixed germ cell

Stromal Tumors

These tumors represent approximately 5% of all ovarian cancer diagnoses. Formed from the cells of the sex cord, they are generally associated with a variety of hormonal effects.

Common
Stromal Tumors

Granulosa Cell
Sertoli
Lipid cell

Rare
Stromal Tumors

Granulosa theca cell
Sertoli-Leydig
Gynandroblastomas

Other Types

These variations on ovarian cancer exhibit many of the same characteristics and are treated like ovarian cancer but originate outside of the ovaries.

Common Types

Primary Peritoneal Carcinoma
Fallopian Tube Cancer

Rare Types

Small Cell Carcinoma of the Ovary