Types of Gynecologic Cancer we treat
Gynecologic cancer is any cancer that starts in a woman’s reproductive organs. Cancer is always named for the part of the body where it starts. Gynecologic cancers begin in different places within a woman’s pelvis, which is the area below the stomach and in between the hip bones.
Each gynecologic cancer is unique, with different signs and symptoms, different risk factors (things that may increase your chance of getting a disease), and different prevention strategies. All women are at risk for gynecologic cancers, and risk increases with age. When gynecologic cancers are found early, treatment is most effective.
- Cervical Cancer
Begins in the cervix, which is the lower, narrow end of the uterus. (The uterus is also called the womb.)
- Ovarian Cancer and familial ovarian cancer
Begins in the ovaries, which are located on each side of the uterus. This includes cancers of the peritoneum and the fallopian tubes.
- Uterine (endometrial) Cancer
Uterine (endometrial) cancer begins in the uterus, the pear-shaped organ in a woman's pelvis where the baby grows when she is pregnant.
- Vaginal Cancer
Vaginal Cancer begins in the vagina, which is the hollow, tube-like channel between the bottom of the uterus and the outside of the body.
- Vulvar Cancer
Vulvar cancer begins in the vulva, the outer part of the female genital organs.
- Dysplasia, sometimes referred to as precancer
This is when there are abnormal cells discovered within tissue or an organ. While the dysplasia is not cancer, the cells may turn into cancer. Your doctor may want to monitor these cells or remove them.
- Ovarian masses and cysts
These are often fluid filled sacs around the ovaries and are often benign. As they can cause pelvic pain and abnormal bleeding you doctor will determine whether they contain cancer and the best methods for treatment.
- Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD)
This is a rare condition in which abnormal cells grow inside the uterus after conception. A hydatidiform mole is the most common type of GTD. Age and a previous molar pregnancy affect the risk of GTD. Usually this condition is benign but, they sometimes become cancer. Your doctor will talk to you about risk factors.
There is no certain way to know which women will have a gynecologic cancer, which covers many different diseases. By knowing your own body, you will be aware of changes and should not hesitate to bring them up with your doctor or nurse.
Symptoms to be aware of include:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge is common (all gynecologic cancers except vulvar cancer.)
- Feeling full too quickly or difficulty eating, bloating, and abdominal or back pain (ovarian cancer).
- Pelvic pain or pressure (ovarian and uterine cancers.)
- More frequent or urgent need to urinate and/or constipation (ovarian and vaginal cancers).
- Itching, burning, pain, or tenderness of the vulva, and changes in vulva color or skin (vulvar cancer.)