Ovarian Tumors

An ovarian tumor is a growth on an ovary. Unlike a fluid-filled cyst, a tumor is solid. Benign ovarian tumors are not cancerous, meaning they do not invade tissues or spread to other parts of the body. If untreated, however, they may grow very large. Benign tumors can cause pain by pressing upon nearby structures and may disrupt normal hormone production.

Symptoms of ovarian tumors can include:

  • Hormonal changes leading to facial hair or severe acne
  • Changes in menstrual period
  • A dull ache in the lower abdomen

Methods of diagnosing ovarian tumors include:

  • Ultrasound, a device that uses sound waves to visualize structures inside the body
  • Laparoscopy, which uses a telescope-like tool that gives a close-up look at the organs

If a benign ovarian tumor is detected, the healthcare provider may take a “wait and see approach,” or recommend treatment or surgery.