What Is a Brenner Tumor?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2019
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A Brenner tumor is a rare mass of tissue that sometimes develops in or on an ovary. In the majority of cases, this type of tumor affects only one ovary. Most women who develop a Brenner tumor on the ovary do not experience any symptoms, and a diagnosis is usually made during a routine gynecological exam. Some women who have undergone menopause may notice occasional vaginal bleeding if this sort of mass is present. Treatment normally consists of surgical removal of the tumor as long as the patient is healthy enough to undergo surgery. Any specific questions or concerns about a Brenner tumor in an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

As a Brenner tumor does not usually cause any noticeable symptoms, it may take years to diagnose. Regular trips to the gynecologist for a routine pelvic exam increase the chances of early diagnosis. There are several types of diagnostic tests that may be used to diagnose the presence of the tumor. These tests include a CT scan, ultrasound, and biopsy.

A pelvic ultrasound can almost always allow the supervising physician to detect the presence of a Brenner tumor. This procedure uses sound waves to help the medical staff get a clear pictures of the various structures inside the body. An ultrasound may be ordered if other medical conditions are suspected or if the patient is having other symptoms, such as discomfort or abnormal vaginal bleeding.


A CT scan or MRI may sometimes be ordered in an effort to accurately diagnose the presence of a Brenner tumor. These tests can give the doctor more detailed information about the tumor, such as its size, location, and whether the tumor has begun to spread outside of the ovary.

After the presence of the Brenner tumor has been confirmed, a biopsy is usually scheduled. This is a minimally invasive procedure that is typically performed on an outpatient basis in the doctor's office or other medical facility. A portion of the tumor and a small amount of healthy tissue surrounding the tumor are removed and sent to an outside laboratory for additional testing. A biopsy can determine whether the tumor is cancerous.

Regardless of whether the tumor is malignant or benign, treatment for a Brenner tumor usually consists of surgically removing the mass. If cancer cells are found during a biopsy, additional treatment measures, such as chemotherapy or radiation treatment, may become necessary. The patient and doctor will discuss the various treatment options and any potential risks that may be applicable to the individual situation.


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