Gynecological Cancer.

Gynecological cancer types, symptoms and treatment.

The American Cancer Society estimates approximately 106,000 women are diagnosed with reproductive cancer each year. Regular checkups by your gynecologist are your first line of defense against gynecological cancers, including cervical, uterine, ovarian and vulvar cancer.


Cervical cancer symptoms and risk.

We provide two cervical screening tests:
The Pap test can find abnormal cells in your cervix that may eventually turn into cancer.
The HPV test screens for the human papillomavirus that can cause the abnormal cells to grow.

The pap test can also find cervical cancer in its earliest stages when the chance of being cured is very high. Talk to your doctor about how often you should have cervical screenings.

Cervical cancer symptoms.

Unfortunately, cervical cancer rarely causes symptoms in its earliest and most treatable stages. That’s why regular pap smears are so important.

Symptoms of advanced cervical cancer may include:

  • Vaginal bleeding or discharge that is not normal for you
  • Bleeding after sex

Cervical cancer risk factors.

Almost all cervical cancers are caused by the human papilloma virus, or HPV, a common virus that is passed from one person to another during sex. HPV does not cause symptoms and it is so common that most people will get it at some point in their lives, unless they received the HPV vaccine as a teenager or young adult.

Other cervical cancer risk factors include:

  • Being HIV positive
  • Using birth control pills for five or more years
  • Giving birth to three or more children
  • Smoking


Uterine cancer.

Uterine cancer causes symptoms to other gynecological conditions and vice-versa so it’s important to schedule a visit with your gynecologist if you notice any changes lasting for two weeks or longer.

Symptoms include:

  • Vaginal bleeding or discharge that is not normal for you
  • Abnormal bleeding, such as unusually heavy periods
  • Pain or pressure in your pelvis

Uterine cancer risk factors.

Uterine cancer can affect anyone, but certain people are at higher risk than others.

Risk factors include:

  • You are older than 50
  • Obesity
  • You take estrogen without progesterone as hormone replacement therapy
  • Infertility
  • You take tamoxifen to treat breast cancer
  • You have a close family history of uterine, colon or ovarian cancer


Ovarian cancer.

Schedule an appointment with your doctor if you’ve had any of these symptoms for two weeks or longer:

  • Vaginal bleeding or discharge that’s not normal for you
  • Pain or pressure in your pelvis
  • Abdominal or back pain
  • Feeling bloated
  • Feeling full or having difficulty eating
  • More frequent, urgent need to urinate
  • Constipation

Ovarian cancer risk factors.

Ovarian cancer can affect women who don't have any risk factors at all. But there are some biological factors that put you at higher risk:

  • You are middle aged or older
  • You have close family members who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, including your mother, sister, aunt or grandmother
  • You have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation
  • You have had breast, uterine or colon cancer
  • You are of eastern European or Ashkenazi Jewish heritage
  • You have endometriosis
  • You have never given birth
  • Infertility


Vaginal and vulvar cancer.


Vaginal cancer symptoms.

Vaginal cancer is another gynecological cancer that does not typically present many symptoms in its earliest stages. 

When they do appear, symptoms include:

  • Vaginal bleeding or discharge that is not normal for you.
  • Abnormally heavy periods or bleeding after menopause
  • Going to the bathroom more often than is normal for you
  • Blood in your urine or stool
  • Constipation
  • Pain in your pelvis, especially during sex or when you urinate

Vulvar cancer symptoms.

Talk to your doctor right away if you notice any changes or discomfort to your vulva. Symptoms include:

  • Persistent itching, burning or bleeding on your vulva
  • Changes in the color of your vulvar skin, such as being more red or more pale
  • Bumps or a rash on your vulva
  • Sores or ulcers on your vulva that do not heal or disappear
  • Pain in your pelvis during sex or when you urinate

Vaginal and vulvar cancer risk factors.

Vaginal and vulvar cancer affect people with many risk factors as well as people who don’t have any of them.

Some factors that could increase your chances of vaginal or vulvar cancer include:

  • Certain types of HPV that do not resolve on their own
  • Cervical precancer or cancer