This section is for teenagers and young adults. It’s about a type of ovarian cancer call germ cell tumours of the ovary. This is the most common type of ovarian cancer in young people. If you have a different type of ovarian cancer and want to know more you could talk to us.
You can see more info for young people about:
If you're looking for information about ovarian cancer in women of all ages, please see our general ovarian cancer section.
It's important to remember that all types of ovarian cancer in young people can be successfully treated - and most young women are completely cured.
Germ cell tumours of the ovary are a rare type of ovarian cancer. They start in the egg-producing cells of the ovary in young girls and young women (aged 10-30). These tumours are often only in one ovary. They can usually be cured, even if they’ve spread to other places in the body.
Germ cell tumours can also develop in teenage boys’ or men’s testicles, or rarely in other parts of the body. The information on this page is about germ cell tumours that start in the ovary, but we do have more information about testicular cancer in young people.
You can find out more about the ovaries, other organs near them and other types of ovarian cancer.
Signs and symptoms of germ cell tumours in the ovary
pain or swelling in your tummy (abdomen)
a feeling of fullness or bloating in your tummy
need to pee more often
Remember that these symptoms happen for lots of reasons other than cancer. But if you have any of them it’s important to get checked out by your doctor.
What causes ovarian cancer?
We don’t know what causes germ cell tumours, but research is going on into the causes of different cancers.
Germ cells are a normal part of the ovary, but something causes them to change. This makes them grow too quickly and make a tumour.
If you're worried about ovarian cancer
If you think you might have some of these symptoms you should go straight to your GP. They'll be able to talk to you about your symptoms, and if they think they could be because of cancer they can do tests to find out more.