Ovarian Tumors | Diagnosis & Treatment

How are ovarian tumors diagnosed?

The first step in treating your child is forming an accurate and complete diagnosis. Your child’s physician may order a number of different tests including:

  • physical exam and complete medical history
  • urine and blood tests
  • pelvic ultrasound
  • computerized tomography scan 
  • a procedure to examine the interior of the abdomen, used to determine the size, grade, and stage of a tumor

There may be other diagnostic tests that your doctor will discuss with you depending on your child's individual situation. After we complete all necessary tests, our experts meet to review and discuss what they have learned about your child's condition. Then we will meet with you and your family to discuss the results and outline the best possible treatment options.

What are the treatment options for ovarian tumors?

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 the size and malignancy of the tumor.

Your child's treatment will almost always include surgery. Pediatric gynecologic surgeons will remove as much of it as possible, while attempting to preserve your child's ability to have children. If an ovarian cyst growth is cancerous, and the cancer has spread far, the ovaries, uterus, fallopian tube, fatty tissue covering the intestines (omentum), and lymph nodes may be removed, in a process called debulking.

If the tumor is malignant, treatment may also include chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy

Chemotherapy is a drug that interferes with the cancer cell's ability to grow or reproduce. Chemotherapy before surgery may help shrink the tumor, making it possible to remove; used after surgery it can help fight a cancer's recurrence. Different groups of chemotherapy drugs work in different ways to fight cancer cells and shrink tumors. Your child may receive chemotherapy orally, as a pill to swallow; intramuscularly, as an injection into the muscle or fat tissue; intravenously, as a direct injection into the bloodstream or IV; or intrathecally, as a direct injection into the spinal column through a needle. Our doctors also use high-energy rays from a specialized machine to damage or kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.