Arrhenoblastoma

Definition

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.

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.

Arrhenoblastoma
Ovarian Cancer
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

The cause of arrhenoblastoma is unknown.

Risk Factors

A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. The following factors increase your chance of developing arrhenoblastoma.

  • Young age—arrhenoblastomas most commonly occur among young women (ages 20-30), however they may occur at any age, including toddlers, young girls, and postmenopausal women
  • Very rarely, arrhenoblastoma is a complication of pregnancy

Symptoms

If you experience any of these symptoms, do not assume it is due to an arrhenoblastoma. These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions. If you experience any one of them, see your physician.

  • In many cases, infrequent menstrual periods or cessation of menstrual periods is the only symptom
  • In up to one in three patients, arrhenoblastoma is accompanied by masculinization, including any of the following:

Diagnosis

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:

  • Blood tests of hormone levels (including testosterone, DHEA, CD56, and progesterone levels)—to detect if male hormones are high
  • Ultrasound —to identify the location, size, and shape of the tumor
Pelvic Ultrasound
Pelvic Ultrasound
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Treatment

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.

Prevention

There are no known ways to prevent ovarian cancer of any kind, as the cause is unknown. To learn more about risk factors for ovarian cancers in general, see the fact sheet on ovarian cancer for more information.

Revisions

All EBSCO Publishing proprietary, consumer health and medical information found on this site is accredited by URAC. URAC's Health Web Site Accreditation Program requires compliance with 53 rigorous standards of quality and accountability, verified by independent audits. To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at HLEditorialTeam@ebscohost.com.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Editorial Policy | Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | Support
Copyright © 2008 EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.

Don’t forget to laugh. Enjoying a joke, funny movie or light-hearted book can brighten your mood and decrease your stress.