Gynaecological Cancers or Women’s Cancers

Gynaecological Cancers: Cancers that start in a woman’s reproductive system are called gynaecological cancers  – but awareness levels of these cancers is very low.

It refers to the five cancers that start in a woman’s reproductive system-

  • Cervical cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Vaginal cancer
  • Vulval cancer
  • Womb cancer (also known as endometrial or uterine cancer)

Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is cancer of the cervix (also known as the neck of the womb) which connects a woman’s womb and her vagina. Cervical cancer can affect women of all ages but affects women primarily 30 – 45 years of age. It is very rare in women under 25 years of age.

Ovarian cancer

Cancer of the ovary is most common in post -menopausal women, although it can affect women of any age. There are many types of ovarian cancer, with epithelial ovarian cancer being by far the most common form. Germ cell and stromal ovarian cancers are much less common.

  • Epithelial ovarian cancer (epithelial ovarian tumours) – derived from cells on the surface of the ovary
  • Fallopian tube cancer; we now know that many ovarian cancers begin in the Fallopian Tubes
  • Germ cell ovarian cancer– derived from the egg-producing cells within the body of the ovary. This rare type of cancer more commonly affects teenagers
  • Stromal ovarian cancer (sex cord stromal tumours) – develops within the cells that hold the ovaries together
  • Cancers from other organs in the body can spread to the ovaries – metastatic cancers. A metastatic cancer is one that spreads from where it first arose as a primary tumour to other locations in the body

Vaginal Cancer

Vaginal cancer is a rare cancer that occurs in your vagina — the muscular tube that connects your uterus with your outer genitals. Vaginal cancer most commonly occurs in the cells that line the surface of your vagina, which is sometimes called the birth canal.

Vulval Cancer

A type of cancer that occurs on the outer surface area of female genitals. Vulvar cancer is most commonly diagnosed in older women. Risks include exposure to human papillomavirus (HPV) and smoking. An early diagnosis reduces the likelihood that extensive treatment will be required. Vulvar cancer commonly forms as a lump or sore on the vulva that often causes itching. Treatment usually involves surgery to remove the cancer and a small amount of surrounding healthy tissue.

Womb Cancer

Cancer of the womb can be called several different names by your healthcare professional including uterine cancer because this is the medical name for the womb, or endometrial cancer which is cancer within the lining of the womb.

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