Gynecologic cancer is the type of cancer that starts in a female’s reproductive organs. It begins in different parts of the pelvis. The pelvis is the area below the stomach and in between the hip bones.
Types of gynecologic cancer
There are five types of gynecologic cancer. They are discussed below:
- Ovarian Cancer: The ovaries are the main important part of the female reproductive system. The ovaries are two glands that produce ova (eggs), and also produce female hormones named estrogen and progesterone. When the cells in the ovary begin to multiply abnormally and out of control, this forms a tumor which is known as ovarian cancer. This is one of the most common types of cancer in women. It mainly affects women who have been through menopause, in a rare case it can sometimes affect younger women.
Major symptoms of ovarian cancer are:
- Feeling constantly bloated
- Discomfort in the tummy or pelvic area
- Unexpected vaginal bleeding
- Changes in urination patterns, such as frequent urination
- Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation
- Feeling full quickly when eating
Additional signs may be:
- Nausea and indigestion
- Appetite loss
- Weight loss
Similar to other types of cancer, depending upon the stages of cancer and the patient’s overall health, treatment options may include:
- Targeted therapy
- Immunotherapy or Biotherapy
- Cervical Cancer: The cervix is the lower and limited piece of the uterus that is situated between the bladder and the rectum. It is a canal that opens into the vagina. Sexually transmitted disease caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main reason for cervical cancer. HPV causes an infection where the cells of the cervix change and grow. This condition is known as dysplasia, which is precancerous. Among all gynecologic cancers, cervical cancer is the only one that can be detected through a screening test called Pap smear test. HPV vaccines and Pap smear tests are preventive measures for cervical cancer.
Symptoms are usually seen when the abnormal cells become cancerous and invade nearby tissue. Symptoms may be as follows:
- Bleeding after menopause
- Pain during intercourse
- Bleeding that start and stop between regular menstrual periods
- Bleeding after intercourse or after a pelvic exam
- Heavier menstrual bleeding than usual
- Increased vaginal discharge
If it is early detected (precancerous stage), it is treated by removing or destroying the cancerous cells with procedures like LEEP conization, cold knife conization, cryosurgery, cauterization, or laser surgery.
In the case of invasive cervical cancer, surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and biological therapy are the treatments.
If cancer has spread into the uterus, a Hysterectomy is an option for treatment.
- Endometrial/Uterine Cancer
- Vulvar Cancer
- Vaginal Cancer