How is borderline ovarian cancer staged?

Updated: Mar 18, 2019
  • Author: Andrew E Green, MD; Chief Editor: Warner K Huh, MD  more...
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Comprehensive staging of borderline ovarian tumors is of significant prognostic value and is performed surgically. As opposed to its true malignant counterpart, epithelial ovarian carcinoma, borderline ovarian cancer is often found at an early stage.

Without comprehensive surgical staging, the prognosis for an individual patient is difficult to predict.

Borderline ovarian tumors are staged according to the FIGO classification of ovarian cancer. Many clinicians group stages II-IV together for prognostic consideration.

Another common component of staging is the description of the type of implants, as these have significant prognostic value.

Preoperatively, borderline tumors are often presumed to be either benign or malignant ovarian masses; however, as with other ovarian masses, staging is performed surgically. Many sources recommend complete staging if a borderline tumor is found. Current guidelines include biopsy specimens of the pelvic peritoneum (cul-de-sac, pelvic wall, and bladder peritoneum), abdominal peritoneum (paracolic gutters and diaphragmatic surfaces), omentum, intestinal serosa and mesentery, and retroperitoneal lymph nodes (pelvic and para-aortic).

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