Adnexal tumors: what are they?

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Adnexal tumors can be benign or malignant masses that grow in reproductive areas of a woman’s pelvic region. Ovarian cancer is a type of adnexal tumor that can have vague symptoms. Diagnosis is often made through pelvic exams and medical imaging tests, and treatment may include surgery and chemotherapy.

Adnexal tumors are masses of tissue that grow in certain reproductive areas of a woman’s pelvic region such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. These tumors can be benign adnexal masses or malignant growths. Many benign adnexal tumors develop without any symptoms and resolve on their own. Adnexal tumors are usually more likely to be benign than cancerous in cases where female patients have reached reproductive age.

Benign adnexal tumors can be surgically removed if they cause symptoms. Some common symptoms of adnexal tumors include stomach pain, indigestion, and nausea. Shortness of breath, unusual tiredness, and changes in urination or bowel function can occur with an adnexal growth. In some cases, individuals have experienced leg or back pain, excessive vaginal bleeding, and weight changes unexplained by adnexal tumors.

Ovarian cancer tumors are adnexal tumors that start in a woman’s ovaries. The ovaries are organs of the female reproductive system that create eggs. Many cases of ovarian cancer have symptoms that are vague and not clearly related to the presence of cancer such as bloating, abdominal fullness or pain in the abdomen. Women with vague or questionable symptoms may benefit from a medical evaluation. In cases that aren’t caught early, cancer can spread from the ovaries to other parts of the body.

Women with a family history of ovarian cancer or breast cancer and female patients who have a personal history of breast cancer are generally at increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. Individuals with ovarian cancer typically have a higher risk of dying from the disease if they are over the age of 55. Estrogen replacement therapy given without progesterone can increase a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer if she receives this therapy for five years or longer.

Many doctors use the results of a pelvic exam, blood tests, and medical imaging tests of the abdomen, such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) scan, or ultrasound exam, to help them diagnose cases of ovarian cancer. Doctors often treat ovarian cancer with surgical removal of the disease. The surgery may include the removal of one or more parts of the female reproductive system such as the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. In some cases, patients may receive chemotherapy after cancer surgery to kill remaining cancer cells.

Fallopian tube cancer is a type of malignant adnexal tumor that affects the fallopian tubes that connect each ovary to the uterus. These tubes are used to carry eggs from a woman’s ovaries to her uterus. In patients with fallopian tube cancer, bleeding or unusual discharge from the vagina and abdominal pressure may occur. Doctors typically diagnose this type of cancer after several medical tests that often include a pelvic exam, tissue biopsy, and imaging tests. Surgery and chemotherapy are commonly used treatment methods for fallopian tube cancer.

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