Androblastoma

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Androblastoma

Definition

Arrhenoblastoma of the ovary is an ovarian tumor that secretes testosterone.

Alternative Names

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

Causes

This is a rare tumor that 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 secretes male hormones, which causes secondary sex changes in women including:

  • Deepening of the voice
  • Increased facial and body hair
  • Increased size of the clitoris
  • Male pattern baldness

Exams and Tests

  • Ultrasound of the ovaries
  • CT scan of pelvis and abdomen to look for tumor spread
  • Blood tests to check levels of hormones that may be secreted by the tumor

Treatment

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

Support Groups

The stress of illness can often be helped by joining a support group where members share common experiences and problems. See cancer - support group.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The outcome of this disease depends on its extent, and the ability to completely remove the tumor with surgery. The overall 5-year survival rate is 70 - 90%.

Fortunately, arrhenoblastoma has a low chance of spreading. If the tumor is detected early, the cure rate can be very good.

Possible Complications

  • Masculinization as described above.
  • Surgical complications depending on the extent of surgery.
  • Spread of the tumor if it is not completely removed.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if you are a woman experiencing signs of masculinization or if you feel a mass near your ovaries.

Prevention

There is no good screening test. Annual gynecological exams and early recognition of signs of masculinization are important in the detection of the disease.

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