About Gynecologic Cancer

Many people learn about gynecologic cancer when they are diagnosed with it. You may wonder what it is and how to take care of yourself.

The American Cancer Society reports that in 2015 there were approximately 98,000 newly diagnosed cases of gynecologic cancers. While there are no exact causes of gynecologic cancer, there are certain risk factors that may make some women more likely to develop a gynecologic cancer, and the risk does increase with age. The best way to protect yourself is to understand your risk factors and follow screening guidelines.

It is important to know the signs and symptoms because there is no way to know for sure who will get a gynecologic cancer. It is very important to be aware of your body and pay attention to any changes that are not normal for you. If you have any signs or symptoms that last longer than two weeks, talk to your physician.

Gynecologic cancer refers to any cancer that starts in a women’s reproductive organ or pelvis from the growth and spread of abnormal cells. Gynecologic cancers refer to different types of cancers. Each type has different signs, symptoms, risk factors and treatment options.

The five main types of gynecologic cancer are:

  • Cervical cancer: Begins in the lower part of the uterus, the cervix
  • Ovarian cancer: Begins in the ovaries, which are located on either side of the uterus
  • Uterine cancer: Begins in the uterus, which is located in the pelvis
  • Vaginal cancer: Begins in the vagina, the hollow, tube-like channel between the bottom of the uterus and the outside of the body 
  • Vulvar cancer: Begins in the vulva, located at the opening of your vagina to include the inner and outer lips, clitoris and glands

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