Ovarian cancer is cancer that starts in the ovaries. Ovarian cancer causes the most deaths of all cancers of the female reproductive system. The following main risk factors are associated with ovarian cancer: age, reproductive history, family history, breast cancer and hormone replacement therapy.

There are three main types of ovarian cancer:

     1. Epithelial tumors - come from cells that cover the outer layer of the ovaries

     2. Germ cell tumors - come from cells that produce the ova (eggs)

     3. Stromal tumors - come from connective tissue cells that hold the ovary together and produce estrogen & progesterone

Epithelial ovarian carcinomas are the most common of ovarian cancers. About 85% of all ovarian cancers are epithelial ovarian carcinomas. Germ cell tumors are ovarian cancer that originated from ova. About 15% of all ovarian cancers are malignant germ cell tumors. Stromal tumors are more rare and are about 5% of all ovarian cancers.

The treatment of ovarian cancer may include hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), bilateral salpingectomy (removal of the fallopian tubes), bilateral oophorectomy (removal of both ovaries) and an omentectomy (removal of part of the omentum, which is fatty tissue from the upper part of the abdominal cavity near the stomach and intestines). Chemotherapy is commonly used with the above surgeries. The patient's outlook for survival depends on the stage* of the ovarian cancer, which is broken down into the following four stages:

     1. 1st stage ovarian cancer - 80% to 90% five year survival rate

     2. 2nd stage ovarian cancer - 40% to 75% five year survival rate

     3. 3rd stage ovarian cancer - 20% to 40% five year survival rate

     4. 4th stage ovarian cancer - 11% five year survival rate

End-of-life care for ovarian cancer patients include includes seeing a barrage of doctors, nurses and therapists. Cancer patients can be treated in their homes or in the care of a hospital. During this time of need, the last thing that you or your loved ones should be worrying about is money. Unfortunately health care costs for ovarian cancer treatments are expensive and those services may or may not be covered by your health insurance. Asset Funding Corp. can help!

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*(National Cancer Society - Cancer Facts & Figures 2002)