Gonadal stromal tumor

Alternative names 
Stromal tumor; Arrhenoblastoma of ovary; Sex cord tumor; Androblastoma

Arrhenoblastoma of the ovary is an ovarian tumor that secretes testosterone.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors
This is a rare tumor that accounts for less than 0.5% of all ovarian tumors. These tumors are found in women of all age groups, but are most common in young women.

This tumor secretes male hormones which causes secondary sex changes in women including:

  • deepening of the voice  
  • increased facial and body hair  
  • increased size of the clitoris  
  • male pattern baldness

Signs and tests

  • ultrasound of the ovaries  
  • CT scan of pelvis and abdomen to look for tumor spread  
  • blood tests to check levels of hormones which may be secreted by the tumor

Surgery is the main treatment. If the cancer has spread, chemotherapy or radiation therapy should be considered.

Support Groups
The stress of illness can often be helped by joining a support group where members share common experiences and problems. See cancer - support group.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outcome of this disease depends on the extent of disease and the ability to completely remove the tumor with surgery. The overall 5-year survival rate is around 70-90%.

Fortunately, arrhenoblastoma has a low chance of spreading (metastasis). If the tumor is detected early, the cure rate may be very good.


  • Masculinization as described above.  
  • Surgical complications depending on the extent of surgery.  
  • Spread of the tumor if it is not completely removed.

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if you are a woman experiencing signs of masculinization or if you feel a mass near your ovaries.

There is no good screening test. Annual gynecological exams and early recognition of signs of masculinization are important in the detection of the disease.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 4, 2012
by Harutyun Medina, M.D.

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