What are some common facts about gynaecological cancers

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Gynecological cancers refer to cancers originating in a woman’s reproductive organs. Although they are commonly grouped together, each type is distinct. It is associated with unique signs, symptoms, and risk factors. There are five main types of cancers:

  • Cervical cancer: It originates in the cervix, the lower part of the womb.
  • Ovarian cancer: It affects the ovaries, which are located on the sides of uterus.
  • Uterine cancer: This affects the uterus. Uterus is the pear-shaped organ where a foetus develops during pregnancy.
  • Vaginal cancer: This cancer affects the vagina. It is the region below cervix; also known as “birth canal”.
  • Vulvar cancer: It begins in the vulva. This is the outermost part of the female genitalia. It comprises of inner and outer labia, clitoris, vaginal opening, and associated glands. 

Who are at danger of developing gynecological cancers?

All women can develop gynecological cancers; irrespective of age. However, the risk increases with progressing years.

Thus, recognizing early signs can be beneficial. You can opt for specific treatment procedures as per your conditions.

Outcomes are typically better when cancers are caught at primary phase. With sophisticated testing processes, you can easily detect early symptoms now!

What are the symptoms associated with gynecological cancers?

Each type of gynecological cancer has unique signs and symptoms. These symptoms differ; based on the affected female organ.

Moreover, they may vary from person to person. Thus, a good oncologist should assess them.

Here, we list some common symptoms of gynecological cancers. They are as follows:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge and bleeding: These are common in various gynecological cancers. However, vulvar cancer does not exhibit such.
  • Pelvic pain: This type of pain mainly happens in uterine and ovarian cancers.
  • Frequent urination/ Pain during urination: This is one of the common signs of ovarian cancer.
  • Abdominal troubles: These may include symptoms such as bloating, constipation etc. These are the potential indicators of ovarian cancer.
  • Genital lesions: These are commonly associated with itchiness, burning sensation over the vulva region. You may visualize a swollen and inflamed vulva. Also, there can be redness of skin and pain.

What are the risk factors associated with gynecological cancers?

It’s impossible to predict who will develop gynecological cancer. This is because each type has its own distinct risk factors.

Here are some common criteria which determine gynecological cancers. They are as follows:

Human papilloma virus (HPV)

Persistent infections raise the risk for multiple gynecological cancers; such as cervical, vaginal, and vulvar.

Family history of cancers

If you are an individual having prior family history of cancers, be alert. You are running at high risk of developing the same.

Exposure to diethylstilbestrol

Certain gynecological cancers were linked to exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES). It is a synthetic estrogen prescribed to pregnant women in earlier times. However, these hormonal medications are not used now.

Gynecological Cancer staging – Why is it needed?

Staging of cancer determines the size and spread of disease in the body. It is to determine if metastasis has happened or not.

You may have come across the TNM system. It is used to define the stages of cancer. In this cancer staging module:

  • T: It describes the primary tumor and how far it has spread into nearby tissue.
  • N: It indicates whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or not.
  • M: It denotes whether the cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body.

For each letter representing a type of cancer, there are five stages. The stages are numbered from 0 to 4. This is indicative of how extensively the cancer has spread.

 Lower numbers tell about cancer cells; resembling normal ones. They are more closely located and easier to treat. Hence, have maximum chances of being cured.

Higher numbers are indicative of advanced spread. Here, the cells have already progressed into the next stage.

To determine the stages of gynecological cancer, oncologists conduct various tests. These help in:

  • Classifying the cancer stages: The main goal of staging gynecological cancers is to classify them as per the TNM grading system. This helps doctors share their clinical knowledge clearly.
  • Knowing the location of the disease anatomically: It helps in understanding the cancer’s clinical and pathological extent. Also, we can detect the histological type and grade of tumors.
  • Assisting in optimal treatment strategy: This provides useful insights about the progression of this disease. Additionally, oncologists can compare different therapeutic modules.

What can be done to prevent gynecological cancers?

You cannot avert the dangers of gynecological cancers fully. However, there are steps you can take to potentially lessen the risk. They are as follows:

If you can detect them early, prompt treatment can be started.

Staying attuned to your body

If you experience abnormal vaginal bleeding lasting for two weeks or more, consult your doctor promptly. Such symptoms may have other causes too. But, medical evaluation is essential for accurate diagnosis.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle

Consume a diet rich in nutrients. This includes fruit and vegetable intake, getting proper rest and so forth. Maintaining a healthy weight is equally important. If you are into cigarettes and alcohol, limit those.

Getting vaccinated against Human Papilloma Virus

This vaccine guards against various types of HPV. It is typically advised for girls aged 11-12 years. These vaccine can protect against cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers.

Undergoing routine Pap tests

 These tests are highly reliable for gynecological cancer screening. Thus, early treatment can be facilitated. A pap test is employed to diagnose cervical cancer. In this procedure, a physician takes a sample of cells from the cervix for laboratory analysis. A pathologist examines the cells under a microscope to detect the presence of cancer.

 Routine pap tests can especially detect precancerous changes of the cervix. They also detect cervical cancer in its primary stages when treatment is most effective.

Imaging of internal organs:

These tests generate images of the pelvic and abdominal internal tissues. It thus enables doctors to visually identify tumors or other irregularities. Ultrasounds, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT) scans are the frequently used imaging techniques. They are important tools in diagnosing gynecological cancers.


Final takeaway

Finding a reliable private gynaecologist in London can be challenging and frustrating. This especially happens when long waiting times make appointments difficult to secure. At Md.co.uk, we offer you rapid Private GP referrals.

If you are diagnosed with gynecological cancer, situation can be extremely pathetic. Fortunately, we provide fast and credible solutions. Our specialized team of GPs helps you get in touch with leading oncologists of London.

They support you emotionally during your tough times. Also, give you practical assistance throughout all the phases; including diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.


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