Gynecologic CancerApproximately 77,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with gynecologic cancers each year. It is important to pay attention to your body and know what is normal for you.
Gynecologic cancers are cancers that start in a woman’s reproductive organs. The five main types of gynecologic cancer are cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, vaginal cancer and vulvar cancer. While they are often discussed as a group, each gynecologic cancer is unique with different signs, symptoms, risk factors, and prevention strategies. Diagnostic testing is used to confirm that a woman with suspicious symptoms or findings has cancer. Detection techniques include blood and urine tests, pap smears, abdominal or transvaginal ultrasound examinations, biopsies of the uterus, cervix, vagina or vulva, and colposcopy of the lower genital tract. The colposcopy examination may include biopsies of suspicious findings
All women are at risk for gynecologic cancers and risk increases with age. Risks are greater for women with a family history of gynecologic cancer, women who have HPV or HIV, women who have no children or who have delayed childbearing, and women who smoke. It is important to pay attention to your body and know what is normal for you. If you experience any signs or symptoms of gynecologic cancer, talk to your doctor right away. When gynecologic cancers are found early, treatment is most effective.
Common Symptoms of Gynecologic Cancer
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge
- Chronic pelvic pain or pressure
- Chronic abdominal or back pain
- Changes in bathroom habits
- Itching or burning of the vulva