Gynecological cancer is the cancer which starts in a woman’s reproductive organs. The symptoms of gynecological cancers are highly ignored as most of the women are unaware of them. If you are one among those who are clueless about the gynecological cancers, here is brief information which helps you.
Gynecological cancers are named according to the organ or part of the body where they first develop. The five main types of gynecological cancers are:
- Cervical cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Uterine cancer
- Vaginal cancer
- Vulvar cancer
As the name suggests, cervical cancer starts in the cervix. A woman is completely free of symptoms in the early stages of cervical cancer. But in the advanced stages, symptoms such as vaginal discharge, painful intercourse and bleeding after intercourse or between periods or after menopause can be seen.
Though the causes of cervical cancer are unknown, HPV ( Human Papilloma Virus) plays an important role. This virus is found in most of the women but not every woman with HPV develops a cervical cancer. Apart from HPV, environmental and lifestyle factors determines the development of cervical cancer. A regular Pap Tests can detect the cervical cancer in early stages and can be treated successfully.
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Cancer which begins in the ovaries is known as ovarian cancer. In most cases, ovarian cancer is undetected until it has spread in the pelvis and abdomen. The symptoms of ovarian cancer can be difficult to recognise, but the main symptoms commonly seen in women detected with ovarian cancer are persistent abdominal bloating, persistent pelvic and abdominal pain. Causes of ovarian cancer are not clear, but women with a family history of ovarian cancer or breast cancer are at higher risk. It is usually diagnosed by performing a pelvic examination and treatment involves a combination of surgery and chemotherapy.
Uterine cancer is also known as endometrial cancer which begins in the layer of cells that forms the lining of uterus. The main symptoms are vaginal bleeding after menopause or between periods and pelvic pain. Uterine cancer is mainly caused due to the imbalance in female hormones . It is usually diagnosed by a biopsy and can be treated by hormone therapy or needs hysterectomy in some cases.
Vaginal cancer is most commonly occurs in the cells that lines the surfaces of vagina. The main symptoms are painful urination, constipation and mass in vagina. Women with HPV infection and having a history of cervical cancer are at higher risk of vaginal cancer. Vaginal cancer is diagnosed by a pelvic examination and pap tests. The treatment depends on the reason for the cause of vaginal cancer.
Vulvar cancer is the type of cancer which develops on the outer surface of the female genitals. It commonly forms as a lump or sore on the vulva that causes itching. The symptoms include bleeding that isn’t from menstruation, pain and persistent itching. Increasing age is the main cause and women who are infected by HPV are at higher risk of getting vulvar cancer. It is diagnosed by vulva examination and biopsy. Treatment of vulvar cancer involves surgery and therapies such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy according to the severity of the condition.
Any type of cancer can be cured if they are detected in the early stages. Early detection is possible by taking the regular pap tests and self screening.