Gynecologic cancer is any form of cancer that begins in the female reproductive system, including cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer and vulvar cancer. Each gynecologic cancer is distinct, having its own signs and symptoms, risk factors, and prevention methods. All women are at risk to develop a gynecologic cancer, with risk increasing with age and treatment is most effective when these cancers are found early.

Cervical cancer forms in the tissues of the cervix, the organ connecting the uterus and vagina.

Ovarian cancer forms in the tissues of the cervix, the organ connecting the uterus and vagina.

Endometrial cancer is cancer of the lining of the uterus. The uterus is a muscular organ located in the pelvis between the bladder and the rectum. The uterus has a central cavity that has a lining called the endometrium. Cancer cells can be found in endometrium surface and also in the underlying muscle wall and less commonly they can also spread to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, vagina, lymph nodes or abdominal cavity. Risk increases with age with most diagnoses occurring in post menopausal women.

Vulvar and Vaginal is a type of cancer that is on the outer surface area of the female genitalia. Though all women are at risk, it is very rare. They occur in about 6-7% (in 2010) of the gynecological cancers diagnosed.

It is estimated that nearly 90,000 women in the US will be diagnosed with some form of gynecological cancer in 2012. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer, please call Mid Florida Cancer Centers today to begin your cancer treatment and begin the road to a cancer free life.

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer forms in the tissues of the cervix, the organ connecting the uterus and vagina, and can be treated at the Mid Florida Cancer Centers. Early cervical cancer is usually very treatable. Typically, it is treated by surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of treatments. Surgery usually involves a hysterectomy, where the womb and cervix are completely removed. Radiation therapy involves having treatment to the womb, cervix, and surrounding areas. Sometimes it is necessary to have radiation therapy following surgery to ensure all of the cancer is removed and lower the chances of the cancer from returning. More advanced cervical cancer may require having a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy because chemotherapy drugs make the cancer cells more sensitive to radiation. The cancer specialists at Mid Florida Cancer Centers work closely with all of its patients to carefully consider and discuss the most effective treatment options available to them.

Cervical Cancer Symptoms

The following symptoms for cervical cancer are similar to symptoms to other, more common conditions. However, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is critical you see your primary physician immediately because the earlier the cancer is detected, the more treatable it is.

  • Bleeding from the vagina (at times other than during your period) – this is the most common symptoms of cervical cancer. Bleeding can occur: between periods, after or during sex, or at any time if you are past your menopause.
  • Vaginal discharge with an unpleasant smell
  • Discomfort or pain during sex

Cervical Cancer Causes

The following are risk factors that may increase a woman’s risk for developing cervical cancer during her lifetime:

  • HPV infection – this is the major cause for most types of cervical cancer and accounts for up to 80 percent of women diagnosed with cervical cancer
  • Other sexually transmitted infection
  • Smoking
  • Birth control – recent research suggests that women who have taken birth control pills for at least five years are twice as likely to develop cervical cancer

Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer forms in the tissues of the cervix, the organ connecting the uterus and vagina, and can be treated at Mid Florida Cancer Centers. The most effective course of treatment for ovarian cancer varies for each patient, and depends on several factors including the type of ovarian cancer you have, the stage of the cancer, the grade of the cancer, and your general heath. Typically, surgery is necessary for treatment, however the amount and type of surgery depends on the cancer’s stage and type. Following surgery, chemotherapy or, in some cases, radiation therapy is usually necessary in order to make sure the cancer is removed from the body and does not return. Mid Florida Cancer Centers is dedicated to providing the best cancer treatment available to all patients.

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms

The symptoms for ovarian cancer can be difficult to detect, as they are usually vague and similar to symptoms of other medical conditions. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, especially if you are over 50 or have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, it is critical you see your primary doctor.

  • Pain in the lower abdomen or side
  • Bloated, feeling full in the abdomen
  • Irregular periods
  • Vaginal bleeding after menopause
  • Back pain
  • Passing urine more often than typical
  • Constipation
  • Pain during sex
  • A swollen abdomen
  • Tiredness

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