Gynecological cancers originate in the female reproductive system and are identified based on where they appear. Each of them presents different symptoms and requires specialized treatment adapted to each patient’s situation.
Depending on where its origin in the female reproductive system, we differentiate the following types of gynecological cancers:
- Cervical cancer: it is the narrowest part of the uterus.
- Ovarian cancer: cancer is located in the ovaries
- Cancer of the uterus or endometrium: the cancer is located in the uterus, the organ in the pelvic area.
- Vaginal cancer: in this case the cancer is located in the canal between the uterus and the outside of the body.
- Vulvar cancer: originates in the outer part of the female reproductive system.
Are all the symptoms of gynecological cancers the same?
Not all gynecologic cancers have the same symptoms, but there are some common signs that could indicate an abnormality. Abnormal vaginal bleeding, pain in the area or the need to urinate frequently or urgently would be some of the signs that may indicate the appearance of a tumor in the female reproductive organ. Whenever you feel any of these symptoms or other signs, check with your doctor.
How are gynecological cancers treated?
The treatment of each tumor depends on many different factors, including where it is located. Mainly we find three types of treatments:
- Surgery: a high level of specialization and excellence is necessary to ensure a good surgical approach to any tumor.
- Chemotherapy: The purpose of chemotherapy is to destroy the proliferation of cancer cells since it acts as an inhibitor of cell activity in the body.
- Radiation therapy: This is a cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.
In addition, in recent years, new approaches to gynecological cancers have emerged. Using the latest technologies and specialized techniques, they obtain very promising results in survival and quality of life of the patient, as is the case of the HIPEC technique applied in the ovarian cancer.
Can gynecological cancer risk be prevented?
Cancer is a genetic disease, that is, cancer is caused by certain changes in the genes that control the way our cells work, especially the way they grow and divide. The genetic changes that promote cancer can be inherited from our parents, but they can also be acquired during a person’s lifetime.
Therefore, although gynecological cancers cannot be completely avoided, they can be prevented and diagnosed at an early stage:
- Regular screening tests can detect cervical cancer early.
- Maintaining healthy habits, such as a correct weight, avoiding smoking, limiting the amount of alcohol you consume and protecting your skin from the sun will also help you prevent cancer.
- There are prevention methods, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine helps prevent most cervical cancers and some vaginal and vulvar cancers.
For more information about gynecological cancers or if you wish to talk to a specialist, please contact our Institute, we have a unit specialized in the surgical treatment of tumors that affect the female reproductive system.
- What is gynecological cancer? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last consultation 09/29/2020. Available online: https://www.cdc.gov/spanish/cancer/gynecologic/basic_info/treatment.htm
- How to prevent cancer or detect it early. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last consultation 09/29/2020. Available online: https://www.cdc.gov/spanish/cancer/gynecologic/basic_info/family-history.htm
- Causes and prevention of cancer. National Cancer Institute. Last consultation 09/29/2020. Available online: https://www.cancer.gov/espanol/cancer/causas-prevencion