Gynecological Cancers

3d-radiotherapyThere are approximately 98,000 new cases of gynecological cancers diagnosed in the United States every year and the American Cancer Society estimates that as many as 30,000 gynecological cancer-related deaths occurred in the previous year.

Uterine cancer accounts for roughly half of all new diagnoses with approximately 54,870 new cases every year, followed by ovarian cancer (21,290 new cases), and cervical cancer (12,340 new cases). Vulvar and vaginal cancers are much less common, with 5,150 and 4,070 new cases every year, respectively.

At the Bicher Oncology Center, our medical team employs cutting edge diagnostics and treatments in order to provide patients with their best possible care. Contact us today to learn more about how our oncologists can help if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with gynecological cancer.

Causes and Risk Factors for Gynecological Cancers

Gynecological cancer encompasses the individual cancers that affect the female reproductive system. The major forms of gynecological cancer include:

  • Cervical
  • Ovarian
  • Uterine
  • Fallopian tubes
  • Vaginal
  • Vulva

All women are at risk for a gynecological cancer. As with all cancers, some forms can stem from genetic mutations and heredity, while the risk factors for developing other forms can be attributable to environmental and lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, diet, and exercise habits.

Some women with a family history of certain cancers choose to undergo genetic testing in order to determine whether they are at a heightened risk to develop a certain type of gynecological cancer. One of the most famous recent examples is that of actress and UN Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie.

After her mother and several female relatives died of ovarian cancer, Jolie underwent genetic testing and learned that she was positive for the BRCA 1 gene mutation, which can greatly increase a woman’s risk of developing both breast and ovarian cancers.

Signs and Symptoms of Gynecological Cancer

Each form of this category of cancers carries its own set of symptoms. It is important for women to be aware of any abnormal or out of the ordinary changes in their body that could signal a problem. Regular medical screenings and self-evaluations are an important step in monitoring for any signs of potential cancer.

Because only a skilled gynecological oncologist can accurately diagnose and treat gynecological cancer, it is essential to follow up on regular screenings and exams, and to get an evaluation from a specialist should any symptoms occur that seem out of the ordinary.

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer does not always present symptoms in the early stages, when the disease is still highly treatable. The most common symptoms of later stage cervical cancer include vaginal bleeding outside of menstruation and abnormal discharge.

Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is also difficult to diagnose in the early stages, making it a particular serious form of gynecological cancer. Many of the symptoms of ovarian cancer are common and do not necessarily indicate cancer under normal circumstances. The most common symptoms of ovarian cancer are:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge
  • Pain in the back and pelvis
  • Abnormal bloating
  • Change in urinary and bowel habits

Uterine Cancer

This form of gynecological cancer most often presents symptoms in the form of abnormal vaginal bleeding and discharge, as well as pain and pressure in the pelvis.

Vaginal and Vulvar Cancer

While less common than the other forms of female cancers, vaginal and vulvar cancer affect thousands of women every year.

Symptoms of vaginal cancer include:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge
  • Change in urinary and bowel habits
  • Pain during sex and urination

Symptoms of vulvar cancer include:

  • Prolonged Itching, burning, or bleeding on the vulva
  • Color changes in the skin of the vulva, making it redder or whiter than usual
  • Rash, lumps, sores, and ulcers that do not heal on their own over time
  • Pain in the pelvis during sex or urination
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Finding Diagnosis and Treatment for Gynecological Cancer

The only way to know if you are suffering from a genealogical cancer is to obtain an accurate diagnosis from a cancer professional. For more information on diagnostic and treatment options for gynecological cancer in Los Angeles, contact Bicher Oncology Center today.

“Fighting cancer with heat is no secret.
But it is an untouched weapon that holds remarkable potential.”

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James I. Bicher, MD
Founder & CEO,
Bicher Cancer Institute

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