Original Article

When to Worry about Cancer: Concurrent Carcinoma and Recurrence in Borderline Ovarian Tumors

Authors: Mackenzie W. Sullivan, MD, Susan C. Modesitt, MD


Objectives: The objectives of this study were to identify and assess the factors associated with concurrent carcinoma and recurrence in women with epithelial borderline ovarian tumors.

Methods: The cancer and pathology databases at a tertiary care academic cancer center were queried for all borderline ovarian tumors from 2005 to 2015. Cases with/without concurrent ovarian carcinoma and with/without recurrence were compared.

Results: A total of 123 women with borderline tumors were identified (mean age 51.3 years). Concurrent carcinoma was present in 31 (25.2%). Women with concurrent carcinoma were significantly more likely to be peri- or postmenopausal, have an elevated CA-125, and have a nonserous histology. Seven (5.7%) women’s cancer recurred at a mean of 23.5 months (mean follow-up 30.0 months). Women with recurrence were more likely to be nonwhite, have concurrent invasive carcinoma, and have had residual disease at the time of surgery.

Conclusions: Epithelial borderline ovarian tumors often co-exist with carcinoma and occur more frequently in postmenopausal women, in women with elevated CA-125, and in tumors with nonserous histology. The presence of any of these factors should alert clinicians to the potential need for comprehensive staging at the time of surgery. The recurrence of borderline tumors is associated with nonwhite race, concurrent carcinoma, and residual disease at initial surgery.
Posted in: Medical Oncology47 Ovarian Disorders And Female Reproductive Health3 Gynecologic Cancer7 Ovarian Disorders3

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