Evaluation and Management of Ultrasonographically Detected Ovarian Tumors in Asymptomatic Women

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Abstract

Data from screening trials indicate that a significant percent of asymptomatic women older than 50 years of age will develop ovarian abnormalities that are detectable by ultrasonography. Most of these abnormalities are benign, and many will resolve spontaneously. However, the risk of ovarian cancer, particularly in postmenopausal women, is of concern. The goal is to use a diagnostic and treatment algorithm that will reliably detect ovarian cancer at the earliest possible stage while limiting the number of women undergoing surgery for benign disease. The combination of morphology indexing and serum biomarker analysis can accurately predict the risk of malignancy in most ovarian tumors. Ovarian tumors with cystic or septate morphology are at minimal risk of malignancy and can be followed with serial ultrasonography evaluations, thereby avoiding the morbidity and cost of surgery. Complex or solid ovarian tumors with a high morphology index score, or those with increasing biomarker production, are at a high risk of malignancy, and patients with these tumors should be referred to a gynecologic oncologist for further evaluation and treatment.

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