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Arrhenoblastoma of ovary

Definition:

Arrhenoblastoma of the ovary is an ovarian tumor that releases the male hormone, testosterone , or other hormones.

See also: Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor



Alternative Names:

Stromal tumor; Gonadal stromal tumor; Sex cord tumor; Androblastoma



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

This is a rare tumor. It accounts for less than 0.5% of all ovarian tumors.

These tumors are found in women of all age groups, but are most common in young women.



Symptoms:

This tumor releases male hormones, which causes the following symptoms in women:

  • Deepening of the voice
  • Increased acne
  • Increased hair on the face and body
  • Increased size of the clitoris
  • Male pattern baldness


Signs and tests:
  • Blood tests to check levels of hormones that may be released by the tumor
  • CT scan of the pelvis and abdomen to see if the tumor has spread
  • Ultrasound of the ovaries


Treatment:

Surgery is the main treatment. If the cancer has spread, chemotherapy or radiation therapy should be considered.



Support Groups:

You can ease the stress of illness by joining a support group where members share common experiences and problems. See cancer - support group .



Expectations (prognosis):

The outcome of this disease depends on whether it has spread, and whether surgery can completely remove the tumor. The overall 5-year survival rate is 70 - 90%.

Arrhenoblastoma has a low chance of spreading. If the tumor is found early, the cure rate can be very good.



Complications:
  • Complications of surgery
  • Masculine symptoms (virilization)
  • Spread of the tumor if it is not completely removed


Calling your health care provider:

Call your health care provider if you are a woman experiencing masculine symptoms, or you feel a lump near your ovaries.



Prevention:

There is no good screening test. Getting a gynecological exam each year and recognizing masculine symptoms can help detect the disease.



References:

Bulun SE, Adashi EY. The physiology and pathology of the female reproductive axis. In: Kronenberg HM, Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 16.

Coleman RL, Gershenson DM. Neoplastic diseases of the ovary: screening, benign and malignant epithelial and germ cell neoplasms, sex-cord stromal tumors. In: Katz VL, Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 33.




Review Date: 1/31/2010
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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