Gynecologic cancer means any type of cancer that begins in a woman's reproductive organs. These can occur in or on a woman’s reproductive organs and even genitals including the vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Each gynecologic cancer is unique with different warning signs, symptoms, risk factors, and different management strategies. A majority of women have chances of developing gynaecological cancers, and the risk increases as they become older. When gynaecological cancers are found early, treatment is possible and one can improve the quality of life. In this article, Dr. Surabhi Siddhartha, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar, has listed six types of gynaecological cancer that every woman should know about.
This is seen when cells grow too rapidly on the lining of the uterus, potentially spreading to other parts like the uterine wall or cavity. The most common kind of uterine cancer is known as endometrial carcinoma. Uterine sarcoma (sarcoma grows in the body's connective tissue cells) is rarely seen.
This cancer starts in the cervix. The cervix connects the vagina and the uterus. Cervical cancer is caused by sexually transmitted human papillomavirus or HPV. It is one of the most common types of cancers that a woman suffers from. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy. Do regular screening to prevent this type of cancer.
This is a rare occurrence, and typically originates in the lining of the vagina. Most cases require surgery or even chemotherapy. Precancerous lesions of the vagina can also be tackled with surgery. The HPV vaccine can be beneficial in preventing some vaginal cancers.
This happens when there is growth of cells that forming on a woman’s ovaries. The cells tend to multiply quickly and can invade and destroy healthy body tissue. The treatment for ovarian cancer is often surgery and even chemotherapy.
Primary peritoneal cancer
This cancer type is known as a relative of epithelial ovarian cancer, but it can impact women who have had their ovaries removed. It usually is seen when cells in the peritoneum (a thin, protective tissue layer surrounding the abdomen) turn cancerous. One will have to either opt for surgery or chemotherapy to treat this type of cancer.
This cancer happens on the outer parts of a woman’s genitalia, such as the labia. Treatment for it depends on the type and stage. Your doctor will be the right person to tell you about the treatment.
There are different types of cancers that women may get. It is very important to be watchful towards the early signs of cancers. Women often ignore unusual signs and symptoms of cancers which then advances and reaches a critical stage. Negligence and lack of awareness are the two factors that should be held responsible for the rise in the cases of gynaecological cancers.
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