Differences in symptoms between patients with benign and malignant ovarian neoplasms

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Publication Date


Document Type



Adolescent; Adult; Age Factors; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Case-Control Studies; Diagnosis, Differential; Female; Humans; Middle Aged; Neoplasm Staging; Ovarian Diseases; Ovarian Neoplasms; Precancerous Conditions; Probability; Retrospective Studies; Risk Assessment; Severity of Illness Index


Obstetrics and Gynecology


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the symptoms that are experienced by patients who receive a diagnosis of early ovarian cancer and to compare those symptoms with the symptoms that are experienced by patients with late ovarian cancer, borderline ovarian cancer, and benign ovarian neoplasms.

STUDY DESIGN: This study used a retrospective case-control design. Cases of invasive and borderline ovarian cancer (n=147 patients) were compared with 76 patients with benign ovarian neoplasms.

RESULTS: Patients with early ovarian cancer were significantly more likely to have symptoms of mass effect (urinary frequency, constipation, palpable mass, pelvic pressure) compared with patients with benign ovarian neoplasms (67% vs 15%; P <.001), late stage disease (67% vs 40%; P =.008), and borderline cancer (67% vs 33%; P =.007).

CONCLUSION: Mass effect symptoms were the only symptoms that differentiated patients with early-stage ovarian cancer from all other groups of patients. However, one third of the patients with early ovarian cancer did not report any of these symptoms.


Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004 May;190(5):1435-7.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American journal of obstetrics and gynecology

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID