Facts About Gynecologic Cancers
- Gynecologic cancers are malignancies of the female reproductive system, and include cervical, uterine (endometrial), ovarian, vaginal, and vulvar cancers.
- The American Cancer Society estimates that in the United States in 2015, 54,870 women will be diagnosed with uterine cancer, while 21,290 will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and 12,900 will receive a diagnosis of invasive cervical cancer.
- Approximately 4,100 women will die of cervical cancer in the U.S. this year, while an estimated 10,170 will die from uterine cancer and roughly 14,180 will die from ovarian cancer.
- Widespread screening with the Pap test and similar technologies has allowed doctors to identify and treat pre-cancerous cervical conditions, as well as to diagnose cervical cancer in its earliest stages, when it responds best to treatment.
- Infection of the cervix with human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common cause of cervical cancer. Not all women with HPV infection, however, will develop cervical cancer. Women who do not regularly have a Pap smear or similar screening to detect HPV or abnormal cells in the cervix are at increased risk of cervical cancer.
Treating Gynecologic Cancers
Treatment for gynecologic cancers depends on several factors, including the type of cancer, its extent (stage), its location, and your overall health. It is important to talk with several cancer specialists before deciding on the best treatment for you, your cancer, and your lifestyle. These specialists can include a gynecologic oncologist, a doctor who specializes in surgically removing gynecologic cancers; a medical oncologist, a doctor who specializes in treating cancer with drugs (chemotherapy); and a radiation oncologist, a doctor who specializes in using high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells.
Sometimes, your cancer may be cured by using only one type of treatment. In other cases, your cancer may be best treated with a combination of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
For More Information
Visit the National Cancer Institute