Understanding Gynaecological Cancer
and How to Manage It

Your guide to understanding all aspects of gynaecological cancer

What is
Gynaecological cancer?

Any cancer that starts in a woman’s reproductive organs is called gynaecological cancer. This type of cancer begins in different areas within a woman’s pelvis – which is the area beneath the stomach and in between the hip bones.

While all women are at some risk of developing one of the types of gynaecologic cancers, the risk normally increases with age. As with most cancers, early detection and diagnosis helps provide more effective treatment, while improving survival odds.
Types of Gynaecological cancers

There are different types of gynaecological cancers which are named based on their place of origin.

Cervical cancer

This type of cancer begins in a woman’s cervix – which is the narrow, lower end of the uterus or womb. Almost all cervical cancers are caused by a common virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a common virus and most of us may get it at some point in our lives; however, it normally causes no symptoms, so you may not be able to tell that you have it. While for some women the virus goes away by itself, if it persists, there is a chance of it developing into cervical cancer over time. There are other factors like prolonged use of birth control pills and having several sexual partners that may also increase your risk of cervical cancer. Read more about the risks, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer. Read more

Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is a type of gynaecological cancer that originates in the ovaries, related areas of the fallopian tubes, and the peritoneum – which is the tissue that lines the abdominal wall and covers most of the organs in the abdomen. There are several risk factors like a family history of ovarian cancer, genetic mutation or abnormality, or endometriosis – a condition where tissues from the uterus lining grows elsewhere in the body. Common signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer include vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, and back pain – to name a few. Read more about the risks, symptoms, diagnosis and treatments of Ovarian cancer. Read more

Endometrial or Uterine cancer

Endometrial cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the uterus – which is the hollow, pear-shaped pelvic organ where fetal development happens. It is sometimes also called uterine cancer, as it begins in the layer of cells which form the lining or endometrium of the uterus. This type of cancer is usually detected at an early stage, as it often causes symptoms like abnormal vaginal bleeding. Risk factors may include fluctuations in the hormonal balance of estrogen and progesterone and obesity. Read more about the risks, symptoms, diagnosis and treatments of Endometrial cancer. Read more

Vaginal and Vulvar cancer

Vaginal cancer begins in the vagina, which is the hollow and tube-like channel between the bottom of the uterus and the exterior of the body. Vulvar cancer begins in the outer part of the female genital organs. Risk factors may include being infected with the HPV virus for a prolonged period and smoking. Symptoms of vaginal cancer may include vaginal discharge and persistent pain in the pelvis. Symptoms of vulvar cancer may include persistent itching and burning on the vulva. Read more about the risks, symptoms, diagnosis and treatments of Vaginal and Vulvar cancer. Read more

Lowering risk of Gynaecological cancers
Cancer screening tests are the most effective method to find cancer at an early stage, sometimes even before any symptoms appear. When the cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat and cure. In addition to the above, these are some ways you can lower your risk of getting gynaecological cancer

Paying attention to your body and being able to identify what is not normal for you

Making healthy lifestyle choices about your diet and exercise

Knowing your family health history to take effective preventive steps

Treatments for Gynaecological Cancers

The treatment for gynaecological cancers depends on the kind of cancer and how far it has spread. Treatment types include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation and may often include a combination of any of the above three treatments. Refer to this section to understand the types of cancer treatments and their effects. Read more

Your cancer journey

Your cancer journey is unique and at Solis Health we encourage you to connect with a patient navigator and take advantage of the holistic support provided through all aspects of the cancer care continuum.
Read about navigating cancer and making the right choices in your cancer care journey here. Read more

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