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What is gynecologic cancer?

Gynecologic cancer is any type of cancer that begins in the female reproductive system including cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer and vulvar cancer. All women are at risk to develop this cancer and the risk increases with age and treatment is most effective when found early.

Cervical Cancer Symptoms and Causes

This cancer forms in the tissues of the cervix which is the organ connecting the uterus and vagina. The symptoms include:

  • Bleeding from the vagina (other than during the menstrual cycle)
  • Vaginal discharge with an unpleasant smell
  • Discomfort or pain during sex

Some of the risk factors that contribute to Cervical Cancer causes:

  • HPV infection – Major cause for most types of cervical cancer and makes up to 80% of women
  • Other sexually transmitted infection
  • Smoking
  • Birth control – recent research suggests women who have taken birth control pills for at least five years are more likely to develop cervical cancer

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms and Causes


  • Pain in the lower abdomen or side
  • Bloating, feeling full in the abdomen
  • Irregular periods
  • Vaginal bleeding after menopause
  • Back pain
  • Passing urine more often
  • Constipation
  • Pain during sex
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Fatigue

Although it’s not clear what causes ovarian cancer here are some risk factors::

  • Older age – most commonly found in women ages 50 to 60 years
  • Inherited gene mutations – the genes known to increase the risk of ovarian cancer: gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene2 (BRCA2) along with other gene mutations associated with Lynch syndrome
  • Family history of ovarian cancer – people with two or more close relatives with ovarian cancer have an increased risk
  • Estrogen hormone replacement therapy
  • Age when menstruation started and ended – starting menstruation at an early age or starting menopause at a later age, may increase this risk