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What is ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer is cancer that begins in the ovaries. Ovaries are reproductive glands found only in women. The ovaries produce eggs (ova) for reproduction. The eggs travel through the fallopian tubes into the uterus where the fertilized egg implants and develops into a fetus. The ovaries are also the main source of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. One ovary is located on each side of the uterus in the pelvis.

The ovaries contain 3 kinds of tissue:

Epithelial cells, which cover the ovary

Germ cells, which are found inside the ovary. These cells develop into the eggs (ova) that are released into the fallopian tubes every month.

Stromal cells, which form the supporting or structural tissue holding the ovary together and which produce most of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone


Information provided by the American Cancer Society