Gynecological cancers are one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in women worldwide. Lakhs of women are diagnosed with gynecological cancers and hence, it is important to be aware of the various types of gynecological cancers.
What are the types of gynecologic cancers, and who’s at risk?
There are five major types:
- Cervical cancer
- Uterine (endometrial) cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Vaginal cancer
- Vulvar cancer
The following factors may increase your risk of developing gynecologic cancer:
Human papillomavirus (HPV): Cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers are often linked to HPV, a common sexually transmitted infection. For this reason, practicing safe sex (using a condom) is a key strategy for prevention. An HPV vaccine is available for girls and young women (between the ages of 11 and 26).
Age: Older age is another known risk factor. For example, the average patient with uterine cancer is 63 years old at diagnosis.
Genetics: Up to 10% of patients with ovarian cancer have a family history of the disease. A woman whose mother, daughter or sister had ovarian, Fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer might choose to undergo genetic testing for mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. (Mutations in these genes can increase your risk for ovarian cancer.)
Uterine cancer is cancer that begins in the uterus and is one of the most common types of gynecological cancers. Though it can happen to anyone, some factors which increase the risk of uterine cancer are obesity, diabetes, hypertension, use of estrogen without progesterone, etc.
THE COMMON SYMPTOMS OF ENDOMETRIAL CANCER ARE:
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting after menopause.
- Pain in the lower abdomen that persists for more than two weeks.
- Bleeding between periods.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
A large number of women in India are diagnosed with this cancer every year, and unfortunately, due to lack of awareness and poor cancer screening facilities, a majority of women are diagnosed when cancer has reached advanced stages
SOME COMMON SYMPTOMS OF CERVICAL CANCER INCLUDE:
- Vaginal discharge.
- Vaginal odour.
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse.
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding.
Ovarian cancer is another common gynecological cancer. There are three types of it: epithelial ovarian cancer, germ cell cancer, and stromal cell cancer. Of these, epithelial ovarian cancer is the most common one accounting for about 85 percent of all ovarian cancers.
SOME COMMON SYMPTOMS OF OVARIAN CANCER ARE:
- Extreme and sudden onset of bloating.
- Difficulty in eating or loss of appetite.
- Increased frequency or urgency of urination.
- Pain in the pelvic or abdominal region.