Thursday, January 19, 2012

Are there really that many different types of Ovarian Cancer?

After writing the last post about CA-125 I started to think about what causes the differences between ovarian cancer tumor cells. Why is cancer antigen CA-125 ,a protein , not elevated (or not being produced at the same level by my cancer tumor cells) as compared to other women who have been diagnosed at the same stage.

When I attended the ASCO meeting, I learned that there are many different subtypes of ovarian cancer. Many more than those I was initially aware of. So I put together a list of the different types of ovarian cancer.

What type/ histology is your ovarian cancer tumor?
  • serous
  • mucinous
  • clear cell
  • undifferentiated
  • mixed epithelial
  • endometrioid

Germ Cell
  • teratoma
  • dysgerminoma
  • yolk sac tumor
  • embryomal
  • choriocarcinoma

Sex Cord Stromal
  • granulosa cell
  • Sertoli-Leydig

Check out the source of my list at
John Hopkins Pathology ( The site offers excellent description of each of these different types and subtypes.

So it seems that even if you have the most common type of ovarian cancer, epithelial, your cells may be different than a friends since you may have a different sub-type. The ovarian cancer cell type along with the stage is important in determining the type of treatment you will be offered, so knowing that information is important.

I know what subtype I am. What subtype are you? Check your pathology report or ask your doctor. It is good knowledge to have.

Every Day is a Blessing!

1 comment:

WhiteStone said...

During my first chemo series (ovarian) my chemo nurse copied pages from a manual that listed the different kinds of ovca. This was very helpful to me as I continued with treatment and more chemo. I knew that different cell types are treated in different ways.