Adnexal tumors are growths that form on the organs and connective tissues around the uterus in women. Adnexal tumors are most often noncancerous (benign), but they can be cancerous (malignant).Adnexal tumors occur in the Ovaries, Fallopian tubes, Connective tissue around the ovaries or fallopian tubes. Diagnosis of adnexal tumors involves a careful physical exam, imaging tests and, sometimes, surgery. Treatment for adnexal tumors depends on the specific location and types of cells involved.
The pathophysiology is not well understood for most adnexal masses; however, some theories have been proposed. Functional cysts may be the result of variation in normal follicle formation. Mature cystic teratoma may be the result of abnormal germ cell proliferation. Endometriomas are thought to result from retrograde menstruation or coelomic metaplasia. The exact cause of epithelial neoplasms is unknown, but recent studies have suggested a complex series of molecular genetic changes is involved.
Cancer of the ovaries are the second most common group of gynaecologic cancers, and account for about 5% of all women's cancers. There are two main types; (i) epithelial tumours (carcinomas) which account for 90% of ovarian cancers, and (ii) non-epithelial tumours (eg. Stroma cell and germ cell tumours of the ovary). The epithelial ovarian cancers are usually found in women aged over 40, while the non-epithelial tumours are more common in girls and young women. Epithelial ovarian cancer has few early symptoms, a risk factor is having a family history of the disease. Taking the contraceptive pill is known to be protective against ovarian cancer.