Benign Brenner tumour - Ovary -

This article will help you read and understand your pathology report for benign Brenner tumour.

by Emily Goebel MD FRCPC, reviewed on May 28, 2020

Quick facts:

  • A benign Brenner tumour is a non-cancerous ovarian tumour.
  • Benign Brenner tumours are often small and are usually found incidentally when the ovary is removed for other reasons, however, some can be large and cause symptoms such as pelvic pain.

The anatomy of the ovary

The ovaries are part of the female reproductive tract. They are small organs that are attached to the uterus by the fallopian tubes. The outer surface of the ovaries are lined by a thin layer of specialized epithelial cells that form a barrier around the outside of the ovary called the epithelium. The ovaries also contain large cells called eggs. The tissue below the epithelium is called stroma.

Gynecological tract

What is a benign Brenner tumour?

A benign Brenner tumour is a rare non-cancerous ovarian tumour. These tumours may not cause any symptoms and may only be recognized by your pathologist after the ovary has been removed for other reasons. Occasionally benign Brenner tumours can be large, causing symptoms such as pelvic pain.

Benign Brenner tumours are usually solid tumours although the inside of some tumours may show small spaces called cysts.

How do pathologists make this diagnosis?

The diagnosis can be made after the tumour is removed and tissue is examined under the microscope by a pathologist. When the tumour is examined under the microscope, it is made up of specialized epithelial cells called transitional-type epithelium. These cells look like the epithelial cells found in the bladder called urothelium.

Other types of Brenner tumours

There are two other types of Brenner tumours that are even more rare than a benign Brenner tumour:

  1. Borderline Brenner tumour – This tumour is a non-cancerous ovarian tumour that is typically benign, but can grow back in the same area as the original tumour.
  1. Malignant Brenner tumour – This tumour is a type of ovarian cancer. When examined under the microscope the tumour cells look very similar to a type of bladder cancer called urothelial carcinoma.
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