Illustration Copyright © 2016 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved. www.nucleusinc.com
NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Ovarian Cancer, Version 1.2017
The ovaries make eggs for reproduction (making
babies). They also make female hormones that affect
breast growth, body shape, and the menstrual cycle.
Eggs pass out of the ovary and travel through the
attached fallopian tube into the uterus. The uterus is
where babies grow during pregnancy. It is also called
the womb. At least one ovary and the uterus are
needed for a woman to have a menstrual cycle and
be able to become pregnant.
Cancer is a disease of cells—the building blocks that
form tissue in the body. Inside all cells are coded
instructions for making new cells and controlling how
cells behave. These coded instructions are called
genes. Abnormal changes in genes can turn normal
ovarian cells into cancer cells.
Normal cells grow and divide to make new cells. New
cells are made as the body needs them to replace
injured or dying cells. When normal cells grow old
or get damaged, they die. Cancer cells don’t do this.
The changes in genes cause cancer cells to make
too many copies of themselves.
See Figure 2.
Normal versus cancer
Normal cells divide to make
new cells as the body needs
them. Normal cells die once
they get old or damaged.
Cancer cells make new cells
that aren’t needed and don’t die
quickly when old or damaged.
Illustration Copyright © 2017 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved.www.nucleusinc.com
Normal cell growth
No cell death
Cancer cell growth