What is Benign Mucinous Cystadenoma of Ovary?

Benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary occurs in women during their reproductive age, mostly in early forties or during the post-menopausal period. Although benign, it can prove to be dangerous if not treated at the earliest. Knowing the causes, symptoms and treatment of benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary will help us manage the condition better.

Benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary is an epithelial cell tumor which is non-cancerous in nature. The tumor does not spread to other parts of the body but it can grow to a good size and affect health in many ways. The growth of such a tumor is very gradual, and in most cases, only one of the ovaries experiences such a growth with a single mass. However, the tumor can also be present in the ovary with multiple masses.

It is important to know the symptoms and treatment of benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary. There are other types, namely, serous and mixed variety cystadenoma of ovary which may also occur.

Benign Mucinous Cystadenoma of Ovary

Causes of Benign Mucinous Cystadenoma of Ovary

As most of these tumors develop spontaneously, the exact cause of benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary is not known. However, studies reveal that certain genetic characteristics can play a role in the development of this tumor, though it happens in very few cases.

A benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary can occur in any woman aged between 20 to 75 years but is more common in middle-aged women. The symptoms of benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary are varied in nature. Though there are no specific risk factors, some studies reveal that women undergoing hormone replacement therapy or those who are obese are at a greater risk of developing benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary.

Symptoms of Benign Mucinous Cystadenoma in Ovary

In most cases, benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary may show no symptoms, particularly when it is present only in one ovary. When benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary is bilateral or present in both ovaries, it may still be difficult to ascertain its presence. However, as the tumor grows, symptoms of benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary may be noticeable in some cases. The tumor is around 5 centimeters in most women but can grow and vary in size from 10 to 15 centimeters in some.

As the tumor grows in size, the following symptoms of benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary begin to develop and become visible.

  • Lower abdominal pain is a common symptom of benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary, due to the growing tumor. The enlarged tumor size gives a swollen look to the abdominal area.
  • The colon starts getting compressed due to the large sized tumor which results in issues in bowel movement and can cause constipation.
  • The patient feels full even if she eats a very small amount of food, which affects the food intake. Reduced appetite is an important symptom of benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary.
  • Vomiting and nausea are other commonly associated symptoms of benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary.
  • As the tumor grows to a larger size, abdominal fluid begins to collect (ascites), which further increases the abdominal size.
  • Abnormality in the menstrual cycle is noted in many cases and is a prominent symptom of benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary.
  • Feeling of fatigue and tiredness at all times is also noted in some women.

Diagnosis of Benign Mucinous Cystadenoma of Ovary

There are several aspects involved in the diagnosis of a benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary. A thorough physical examination of the patient and medical history can give an idea of the existing problem. Blood tests and radiological scans may be ordered, as appropriate to confirm the diagnosis of benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary.

Investigations useful in making a diagnosis of benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary include:

  • Blood count
  • Alpha Feto protein (AFP)
  • Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)
  • Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH)
  • CA - 125
  • Inhibin hormonal test
  • Testosterone and estrogen test
  • Ultrasound scan
  • MRI and CT Scan of the abdomen and the pelvis.

An exploratory laparotomy may be required if biopsy is considered. For biopsy, a tissue sample is collected during laparotomy and is sent to laboratory for a detailed examination. The biopsy results can help to confirm the diagnosis of benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary.

Treatment of Benign Mucinous Cystadenoma of Ovary

Treatment of benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary mainly depends on the size of the tumor and the associated symptoms, if any. In cases where the tumor is small in size, the doctor does not recommend any treatment, especially because the tumor is benign in nature. However, it is essential to monitor the condition, so as to check for growth in tumor size or appearance of any symptoms. Follow up visits may also include an ultrasound or inhibin test to ensure the same.

Symptomatic treatment may be given to ease the existing symptoms, but if they do not subside and the size of the tumor continues to grow, surgical treatment of benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary may be required.

Surgical treatment of benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary is suggested in cases where the tumor size is large enough to cause complications like ovary torsion or hemorrhage. Also, if the symptoms of benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary are present and cause severe trouble, surgical treatment options may be considered. Surgery for benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary mainly includes surgical removal of the tumor. Post-surgery, the patient is asked to take rest, eat healthy and avoid strenuous physical activities.

Conclusion

Benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary is not a cancerous growth and does not spread in the body. However, doctors recommend to get the tumor surgically removed as part of the treatment of benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary, if it starts growing in size, gives way to several complications or if the symptoms are severe and unbearable for the patient.

For people who are suffering from benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary, it important to monitor the condition and follow medical advice. If there are any symptoms or if existing symptoms aggravate, it is necessary to seek medical opinion at the earliest and check if the tumor size is increasing. This can help to receive timely treatment for benign mucinous cystadenoma of ovary and help to prevent further complications.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: April 12, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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