Q: Is there more than one type
A: Most MOCs actually aren’t primary ovarian cancers. The more common situation is that a mucinous cancer, found in a woman’s ovary, started in another place in her body. Most of the time these cancers come from the gastrointestinal tract, and less commonly from the pancreas, cervix or breasts.
In this situation the cancer is not primary to the ovary—meaning that it didn’t start there. Instead, it is called an ovary metastasis--a cancer that started somewhere else and spread to the ovary. Sometimes pathologists can tell whether a mucinous ovarian cancer is primary or metastatic based on the appearance of the cancer cells under the microscope.
Doctors use imaging (usually a CAT scan), the pathology report, and tumor markers that can be measured in the blood (CA-125, CEA and CA19-9) to help determine whether a cancer is primary or metastatic. It is very important to have a thorough evaluation looking for cancer in other areas of the body.
These tests can be done before or after surgery and include colonoscopy and upper endoscopy to examine the lining of the digestive system, mammogram to examine the breasts, a cervical pap smear, and physical exam that includes a pelvic exam.