Author(s): Young RH
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Abstract The relative frequency of ovarian tumors and tumor-like lesions that occur in young females (defined in this article as up to 30 years of age) differs considerably from that seen in older patients. The spectrum of lesions encountered is reviewed, with emphasis on those disproportionately seen in younger patients, particularly primitive germ cell tumors, certain tumors in the sex cord-stromal family, the distinctive tumor known as small cell carcinoma of hypercalcemic type, and selected tumor-like lesions. Comments are made initially on the relative frequency of the various well-known categories of ovarian neoplasia in the first three decades, compared to females overall, and differences within the first three decades are noted. Some of the more noteworthy of these include the occurrence of follicular cysts in neonates due to in-utero maternal stimulation, and the often large size of these lesions, with sometimes dramatic clinical manifestations; the relative rarity of the commonest germ cell tumor of the ovary, the dermoid cyst, in the very early years of life; the peak incidence of all primitive germ cell tumors in the mid to late teens and early 20s; the peak of small cell carcinoma of hypercalcemic type in the early 20s; the preponderance for the juvenile granulosa cell tumor to occur in the first two decades and for one distinctive form of Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor, the retiform variant, to peak at about 15 years of age; the occasional finding of mucinous cystic tumors, usually benign, in the teenage years, and their greater frequency than other surface epithelial neoplasms; a gradual increase in frequency of all types of surface epithelial neoplasia, but particularly mucinous tumors and serous tumors as patients move through the 20s; and the rarity of metastatic neoplasia in the first three decades in general, but with occasional dramatic examples such as some Krukenberg tumors being seen in these years, as may some of the distinctive tumors of the young such as neuroblastoma. Consideration of the gross and microscopic features, and differential diagnosis, of individual neoplasms follows the introductory remarks and emphasizes the importance of gross pathology. An example of the latter is the marked difference in most cases between a dermoid cyst and an immature teratoma, the former being dominantly cystic and the latter dominantly solid, and the latter on average twice as large as the former. Caution should be exercised in entertaining a diagnosis of immature teratoma if a lesion is grossly a typical dermoid cyst. The treacherous shared gross characteristics and age distribution of the dysgerminoma and small cell carcinoma of hypercalcemic type are noted. The rarity of monodermal teratomas and malignant neoplasms such as squamous cell carcinoma arising in dermoid cysts in the first three decades is noted. The distinctive features of two recently described stromal neoplasms, microcystic stromal tumor and luteinized thecomas of the type associated with sclerosing peritonitis, are emphasized as is the varied differential diagnosis of the juvenile granulosa cell tumor and Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor. Sections on ovarian tumors and tumor-like lesions in pregnant patients and tumor-like lesions overall conclude the article. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Semin Diagn Pathol
and referenced in General Medicine: Open Access