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.
Each year, about 20,000 women in the United States get ovarian cancer. Among women in the United States, ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer and the fifth leading cause of cancer death, after lung and bronchus, breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers. Ovarian cancer causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system, but it accounts for only about 3% of all cancers in women. When ovarian cancer is found in its early stages, treatment is most effective. In 2012 (the most recent year numbers are available) 20,785 women in the United States were diagnosed with ovarian cancer. 14,404 women in the United States died from ovarian cancer.