Borderline Ovarian Tumors

Borderline ovarian tumors (also termed ovarian tumors of low malignant potential) were first officially defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1970 and affect approximately 3000 women yearly in the United States.1 These tumors represent 15% of all epithelial ovarian cancers, although a recent report from Sweden found that the proportion of borderline tumors increased from 8% of all ovarian neoplasms in 1960 to 1964 to 24% in 2000 to 2005.1,2 In general, borderline ovarian tumors occur in younger women, are found in earlier stages, and have a more favorable prognosis than epithelial ovarian cancer. They are associated with a 5-year survival rate approaching 100% in early stage.3 For example, the Swedish population study found that the average age for those with borderline tumors was 55 years compared with 62 years for those with invasive ovarian cancers and that a third of all primary ovarian malignancies in women under 40 years of age were borderline tumors.2 Overall, these tumors have excellent prognosis with a 93% to 99% 5-year survival rate and an 80% to 90% 15-year survival rate.3-6

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