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Ovarian masses in infants, young girls and adolescents are enlargements of the ovaries – the organs that store and release eggs, and that produce female hormones. These masses may be cysts or tumors, and if they're tumors, they may be cancerous or benign (non-cancerous). Tumors and cysts can appear on one or both ovaries, individually or in clusters.
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that usually dissolve after ovulation and can cause pain, but most often go away on their own. Benign ovarian cysts, that do not regress spontaneously, may be cured by surgically removing or draining them, but new cysts may form in the future. At Boston Children's, almost 100% of children's ovaries are saved when removing benign cysts or tumors.
Cysts are almost always benign but can develop into cancer. They are common in newborn infants and can occur after an egg is released during ovulation. Complications of cysts can include disruption of the blood flow to an ovary [torsion] or rupture. Cysts can be either functional or non-functional.
Ovarian tumors account for one percent of all malignant tumors found in children from birth to the time she's 17. In girls younger than 8, four out of five ovarian tumors are benign (non-cancerous).
Ovarian Mass / Tumor Treatment at Boston Children's Hospital
If your daughter has an ovarian mass, she will be treated at the Gynecology Program at Boston Children's Hospital. The Gynecology Program also can help determine the risk of malignancy and if the ovarian mass is cancerous, your daughter will be treated by Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center – a treatment program that unites Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children's Hospital to provide seamless, integrated care for children with cancer and blood disorders.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”