Cancer originating in the woman’s reproductive organs and genitals is called gynecological cancer. Gynecological cancer includes the cancer of the vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. The cancer is also named after the organ from which it originates.
Cervical cancer is one of the most common types of gynecological cancer. The risk of developing gynecological cancer increases with age.
Types of Gynecological Cancers
The different types of Gynecological cancer are:
- Ovarian Cancer: Originates in one or more ovaries present on each side of the uterus.
- Cervical Cancer: Cervical cancer starts in the cervix, which connects the vagina to the uterus.
- Uterine Cancer: It begins in the uterus.
- Vaginal Cancer: Vaginal cancer begins in the vagina.
- Vulvar Cancer: It begins in the outer part of the female genital organ called the vulva.
- Fallopian Tube Cancer: It is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the fallopian tube.
Symptoms of Gynecological Cancers
The common symptoms of gynecological cancer are:
- Unusual discharge from the vagina
- A lump in the pelvis or abdomen
- Irregular menstruation
- Bleeding between periods
- Bleeding after the menopause
- Pain and bleeding during sex
- Heavier and longer period than usual
- Difficulty peeing
- Discomfort and pain in the abdomen
- Unexplained fatigue
- Itching, pain, or burning in the vagina or vulva
Causes of Gynecological Cancers
The exact cause of gynecological cancer is not known. Cancer occurs when there is an alteration in the DNA of the cell resulting in uncontrolled division. Many factors that increase the risk of gynecological cancer are:
- Increased age above 45 years
- A family history of reproductive organs cancer
- Inactive lifestyle
- Exposure to diethylstilbestrol
- Having an unprotected sex
- Having multiple sex partners
- Infection with HIV or HPV
- Use of contraceptive methods or pills
- Having certain conditions like diabetes, hypertension, or chronic vulvar irritation
At HCG Manavata Cancer Center, we have the best doctors for ovarian cancer treatment in Nashik. Here patients can receive diagnostic and treatment support for ovarian cancer patients.
Diagnosis of Gynecological Cancers
Here, we have some of the best gynecologic oncologists in Nashik, who are skilled at accurately diagnosing and treating various gynecological cancers. Gynecological cancers are diagnosed using the following tests:
- Imaging tests: The doctor may perform magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, and computed tomography to detect the type of gynecological cancer, its stage, and its metastasis to other organs.
- Endoscopy: In this, a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope is inserted in the uterus to look at abnormalities or lumps in female reproductive parts and check for gynecological cancer.
- Biopsy: A tissue sample from the suspected organ is taken and examined under the microscope to check for cancerous cells. It is a confirmatory test for gynecological cancers.
- Molecular tissue testing: It helps determine the specific characteristics such as genes and proteins of gynecological cancer cells.
- Colposcopy: Colposcopy helps examine the vagina, cervix, and vulva for abnormal tissue or the signs of gynecological cancer.
- Ultrasound: Mostly, transvaginal ultrasound is performed for gynecological cancer that shows the details of the pelvic organs, the tumor, its size, and its location
Treatment for Gynecological Cancers
We strive to offer the best gynecological cancer treatment in Nashik and our center is fortified with advanced treatment facilities. The treatment options available for gynecological cancer are:
Surgery: Surgery for gynecological cancer usually involves the removal of the tumor as much as possible. The doctor removes some or all the affected lymph nodes by gynecological cancer. The different surgical procedures performed for the treatment of gynecological cancers are:
- Debulking surgery to remove all the tumor cells possible to reduce its size.
- Hysterectomy involves the removal of the uterus and cervix.
- Unilateral/ Bilateral Salpingo-oophorectomy is the removal of the ovary along with the fallopian tube.
Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy is used in the non-surgical management and the adjuvant postoperative treatment of gynecological malignancies in the female reproductive tract. It is used to cure and control the sign and symptoms of gynecological cancer. The goal of radiation therapy in gynecological cancer is to administer an effective dose of radiation to the cancerous area with minimizing the exposure to healthy tissue. It can be delivered externally or internally.
Chemotherapy: It uses medicines to kill and shrink gynecological cancer cells. Depending on the stage and type of gynecological cancer, it can be given orally, intravenously, and injected directly near the cancer site.
Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy for gynecological cancer works by boosting the immune system to recognize and destroy the cancerous cells. It is mostly used for the advanced stage of gynecological cancers when surgery cannot be done and to ease signs and symptoms.
Hormonal therapy: Hormonal therapy works by blocking or stopping the release of specific hormones like estrogen or progesterone. These hormones stimulate the growth of some gynecological tumors and help in their metastasis.
Targeted therapy: It is used to treat advanced and recurrent gynecological cancer. In this, medications are used that targets the proteins or substances on or in the gynecological tumor. It also works by disturbing the environment, which helps the tumor to grow, spread and live.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is gynecological cancer treatable?
Gynecological cancers are often treatable when detected in the early stage. Many gynecological or uterine malignancies are treated completely through surgery.
2. How can I prevent gynecological cancer?
You can reduce the risk of developing gynecological cancer by getting the HIV vaccine, getting screened regularly, quitting smoking, eating healthy and exercising regularly, having protected sex, and limiting the number of sex partners.
3. What if gynecological cancer reoccurs?
Gynecological cancer may reoccur. You will have a regular checkup with a doctor for several years after treatment so it can be diagnosed and treated early. The doctor may use the same advanced form of previous treatment, a combination of two or more treatments, or can try new therapy to manage gynecological cancer if it reoccurs.
4. Can I get pregnant once gynecological cancer is treated?
You can try getting pregnant after the treatment. It depends on the type of treatment method used for the management of gynecological cancer. For example, you cannot get pregnant if a doctor performs a hysterectomy. However, you can still try getting pregnant if the doctor removes one ovary out of both.
5. What is the survival rate for gynecological cancer?
The survival rate for Gynecological cancer depends on your type of cancer and stage of cancer. For example, the 5-year survival rate for ovarian cancer is 80% and for endometrial cancer is 90% if diagnosed at an early stage.