BSIP DR PICHARD T. / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP DR PICHARD T. / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ovarian cyst. Coloured ultrasound scan of a female abdomen showing an ovarian cyst. The cyst (highlighted by two white crosses at centre left) is a fluid filled swelling inside an ovary. They are usually harmless, but around one in twenty may develop into malignant cancerous forms. Most disappear without surgery. There are not usually any symptoms, but if the cyst is large, it may cause abdominal pain and abnormal menstrual flow. In cases like these, the cyst always requires surgical removal. In very severe cases, the entire ovary may have to be removed with the cyst.
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