Gynecology - Ovarian Cysts (PCOS)
Approximately 5-10% of women in the United States will undergo a surgical procedure for a suspected ovarian neoplasm during their lifetime. Despite the fact that 13-21% of these women will be found to have a malignant ovarian neoplasm, most adnexal masses are benign.
One of the most important factors in establishing a differential diagnosis of an adnexal mass is the patient’s age. Ovarian cysts found in premenarcheal girls and postmenopausal women are at highest risk for malignancy. Whereas, adnexal masses found in reproductive-aged women are both benign and infrequently, malignant. It is important to remember that adnexal masses may be due to both gynecologic and nongynecologic sources.
It is important for cysts to be found, checked, and possibly treated if they do not go away because sometimes they rupture (burst). A ruptured cyst can be very painful and dangerous, especially if it is filled with blood.
There is no definite way to prevent the growth of ovarian cysts. You should have a physical exam, including a pelvic exam and Pap test, every year or as often as your health care provider recommends. Doing this will help ensure that changes in your ovaries are diagnosed as early as possible.