Treatments for Ovarian Mass / Ovarian Tumor in Children

Your child's physician will determine a specific course of treatment based on several factors, including your child's age, overall health and medical history as well as whether the ovarian mass is a cyst or tumor. At the Gynecology Program at Boston Children's Hospital, our team brings expert knowledge to the diagnosis and treatment of your daughter's ovarian cyst or tumor.

If your daughter has been diagnosed with an ovarian cyst, her treatment may include:

  • Watchful waiting. Most ovarian cysts go away without any treatment.
  • Draining. If your daughter has a cyst bigger than two inches across, it may need to be drained with a needle to keep it from twisting and pinching off the ovary's blood supply.
  • Removal. Sometimes an ovarian cyst may not go away and needs to be removed. In this case, a surgeon would remove the cyst while leaving the rest of the ovary in place.

If your daughter's ovarian mass is diagnosed as a tumor, treatment may include:

  • Surgery. If the tumor is benign (non-cancerous), your child's surgeon may be able to remove it and keep the rest of the ovary alive. (A recent study showed that gynecology surgeons were 15 times more likely to preserve the ovary than pediatric general surgeons. Marc R. Laufer, MD, chief, Division of Gynecology, of Boston Children's, is a specialized gynecology surgeon, but also has experience working with children, thus having both the technical surgical expertise and pediatric care experience.) Most ovarian malignancies in children and adolescents can be cured with surgery alone. Some may require further treatment.
  • Chemotherapy. In the case of a malignant tumor, your child's doctor may recommend chemotherapy, a drug treatment that works by interfering with the cancer cell's ability to grow or reproduce.
If your daughter has a malignant ovarian tumor, she will be treated through 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 internationally-renowned care for children with cancer and blood disorders.