Gynecologic Cancer

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About Gynecologic Cancer

Gynecologic cancer is an uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells that originate from the reproductive organs. There are several types of gynecologic cancers which include cervical, gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD), primary peritoneal, ovarian, uterine/endometrial, vaginal and vulvar cancers.

Gynecologic cancers are the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells originating in the female reproductive organs, including the cervix, ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, vagina and vulva.

There are many factors that cause gynecologic cancers. Medical research has discovered that some classes of genes, called oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, promote the growth of cancer. The abnormal function of these genes can be acquired (e.g., through smoking, aging, environmental influences) or inherited. Almost all cervical cancers and some cancers of the vagina and vulva are caused by a virus known as HPV, or Human Papillomavirus.

Gynecologic Cancers

  • • Cervical Cancer
  • • Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD)
  • • Primary Peritoneal Cancer
  • • Ovarian Cancer
  • • Uterine/Endometrial Cancer
  • • Vaginal Cancer
  • • Vulvar Cancer

⇔  Regular screenings and self-examinations can result in the detection of certain types of gynecologic cancers in their earlier stages, increasing the likelihood of successful treatment and the possibility for a complete cure.

⇔   It is important to be aware of your family’s history to help determine if you may have a gene that makes you more susceptible to cancer - knowing can increase the chance of prevention or early diagnosis.

⇔  Lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise can have a significant role in the prevention of cancer.

Even still, every woman is at risk for developing a gynecologic cancer. It is important to learn what types of cancers there are and also know their signs and symptoms so you can be proactive in your health.

Cervical Cancer

Worldwide, cervical cancer is the second most common cause of death by cancer in women. In the United States alone, 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year.
The cervix has two main types of cells: squamous and glandular cells. Abnormal changes in either of these two types of cells can result in cervical cancer. Almost all cervical cancers are caused by a persistent infection with a virus called Human Papillomavirus (HPV).

Ovarian Cancer

There are three types of ovarian cancer: epithelial ovarian cancer, germ cell cancer and stromal cell cancer. Epithelial ovarian cancer is the most common, accounting for 85 to 89 percent of ovarian cancers. It ranks fourth in cancer deaths among women, causing more deaths than any other female reproductive system cancer.

  • • Epithelial Ovarian Cancer
  • • Uterine/Endometrial Cancer
  • • Endometrial Cancer

Vaginal Cancer

Vaginal cancer is one of the rarest forms of gynecologic cancers usually affecting women between 50 to 70-years-old. Due to the fact that vaginal cancers are often associated with HPV, vaginal cancer can be prevented by vaccinating women and young girls before they are sexually active.

Vulvar Cancer

Vulvar cancer is a rare, abnormal growth on the external female genitalia, typically occurring in elderly women. Fortunately, vulvar cancer is very curable when it is detected at an early stage. Treatment can, however, have substantial adverse effects on a patients’ sexual function, bladder and rectal function, as well as their body image.