Gynecologic Cancers Overview
Gynecologic cancers are caused by the spread of abnormal cells originating in a woman’s reproductive organs. These organs include the cervix, ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, vagina and vulva.
All women are at risk for these cancers, and that risk increases with age. Nearly 95,000 new diagnoses and approximately 29,000 deaths occur from gynecologic cancers in the United States each year, according to American Cancer Society estimates.
Research shows that women experience better outcomes when they receive care first from a gynecologic oncologist, who is a specially trained cancer doctor.
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Types of gynecologic cancers
Each gynecologic cancer is unique, with different symptoms, risk factors and treatment options.
Read more about cancers that occur in women below, and click on specific conditions for more detailed info.
Cervical cancer, caused by abnormal cell growth resulting in a tumor in the cervix, is the second most common and the most preventable cancer in women.
Uterine, also called endometrial, cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer in the U.S. Read about causes, symptoms & screening and treatment (typically through hysterectomy or chemo).
Genetic cancers are passed from parents’ DNA during conception to a child and treated with radiation, surgery or chemo. Breast, ovarian & colorectal are the most common genetic cancers.
A woman’s genetic makeup and family history determine her inherent risk for contracting a gynecological cancer. Hereditary gynecologic cancer syndromes (HGCS) are a collection of genetic causes, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, of gynecological cancers.
Learn more about types of ovarian cancers – a rare cancer of the ovaries that often goes undiagnosed in women – symptoms and treatment options.
Primary peritoneal cancer (PPC) is abnormal growth of cells in the peritoneum, a tissue layer lining the abdomen and covering the rectum, bladder & uterus.
There are more than 50 types of sarcoma. A common gynecological sarcoma is a uterine sarcoma, which originates in the muscles of the uterus.
Vaginal cancer is a rare form of female cancer that most often originates in the lining of the vagina’s surface. There may be no symptoms early on.
Vulvar cancer, a rare cancer that forms in the outer part of the female genitals, is usually treated with surgery by gynecologic oncologist specialists.