How are ovarian cysts differentiated from ovarian cancer?

Updated: Aug 10, 2020
  • Author: Andrew E Green, MD; Chief Editor: Yukio Sonoda, MD  more...
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An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac in an ovary. Ovarian cysts can develop from the neonatal period to postmenopause but most occur during infancy and adolescence, which are hormonally active periods of development. With the more frequent use of ultrasonography in recent years, the diagnosis of ovarian cysts has become more common.

The normally functioning ovary produces a follicular cyst six to seven times each year. In most cases, these functional masses are self-limiting and resolve within the duration of a normal menstrual cycle. In rare situations, they persist longer or become enlarged. At this point, they represent a pathological condition.

For more information, see Ovarian Cysts.

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