Description, Causes and Risk Factors:
An arrhenoblastoma is a rare type of ovarian tumor. This tumor primarily secretes the male sex hormone, testosterone, and rarely the female sex hormone, estrogen. It accounts for less than 0.5% of all ovarian tumors.
This tumor belongs to the sex cord-stromal tumor group, which is composed of tumors that develop from tissues located in the sex cords of the testis and ovaries. In the case of an arrhenoblastoma, the sex cords that are effected are the cortical cords. Arrhenoblastomas are extremely rare, accounting for less than 1% of all ovarian tumors. Although this neoplasm can affect any age group, it is most frequently present in young adults.
Arrhenoblastomas are generally benign, meaning they do not normally spread beyond the ovary. However, they may cause male physical characteristics to develop in women, such as facial hair and a deepening voice. If you suspect you have this condition, contact your doctor immediately.
Like all tumors, the prognosis of this tumor depends on where and to what extent the tumor has spread and whether or not the tumor can be removed. Fortunately, arrhenoblastomas do not typically spread beyond the ovaries. When the growth is detected early, the patient has an extremely high chance of being cured and symptom-free. The median survival rate for patients with arrhenoblastomas is 70 - 90% over a five-year period.
This tumor affects the female body with progressive masculinization, a result of the overproduction of the hormone testosterone. While common in men, this hormone does not promote a healthy female reproductive system and/or feminine appearance.Elevated levels of testosterone in a woman's body will result in the deepening of the voice, acne, clitoromegaly (an enlarged clitoris), increased facial and body hair, temporal male-pattern baldness, anovulation (ovular cycles in which the ovaries do not release an oocyte), and even amenorrhea (no menstrual cycle).
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. He or she will also test your levels of male hormones (such as testosterone and androsterone) to see if they are excessive.
Tests may include the following:
Ultrasound —to identify the location, size, and shape of the tumor.
CT scan of the pelvis and abdomen to see if the tumor has spread.
Blood tests of hormone levels (including testosterone, DHEA, CD56, and progesterone levels)—to detect if male hormones are high.
Treatment involves surgery to remove one or both ovaries. This procedure is usually successful in returning normal menstruation (in premenopausal women) and ceasing masculinization. If the tumor is late stage and particularly aggressive (which is rare), radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or both, in addition to surgery, may be needed.
NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.
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