JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration of primary carcinoma of the ovary. Ovarian cancer has here distented the ovary (lower centre), with a growth present on the surface. The fallopian tube is at above centre. This cancer is most common in women over age 50 and in those who have never had children; less common in women who have taken oral contraceptives. The primary form of cancer may spread to other organs. In most cases there are no symptoms until an advanced stage; the first symptom is a vague abdominal discomfort and swelling. Ovarian cancer is treated by surgical removal of the growth, which may involve removal of the ovary, fallopian tubes and even the uterus. Anti-cancer drugs would follow.
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