Ovarian cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the ovary, fallopian tube or peritoneum grow in an uncontrolled way.
The ovaries are a pair of organs in the female reproductive system, located on each side of the uterus. The ovaries are mainly made of three types of cells:
- Epithelial cells which form the outer layer of tissues around the ovary
- Germ cells which form the eggs
- Stromal cells which form the structural tissue cells in the ovaries
Ovaries produce eggs and female hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone.
In advanced disease, ovarian cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body to form secondary cancers, in a process called metastasis.