Cancers that occur in the female reproductive organs are called gynecological cancers. They affect the cervix, ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, vagina and vulva.
Our Regional Cancer Network provides you with the latest tools and technology to detect and treat gynecological cancers. An experienced gynecological oncologist from Brigham and Women’s Hospital is available to perform specific surgeries at our hospitals, making it possible for you to recover close to home.
Symptoms of Gynecological Cancer
Because there are multiple types of gynecological cancer, symptoms can vary. And, because symptoms of cancer are similar to those of many less serious conditions, the key is to know what’s normal for you and to call your doctor when something doesn’t seem right. Symptoms of gynecological cancer include:
- Unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge
- Pain or pressure in the pelvic area
- Vaginal itching or burning
- Abdominal or back pain
- Feeling tired all the time
- Frequent or intense need to urinate
- Changes in the skin or color of the vulva
How Gynecological Cancer is Diagnosed
A physical exam is the first step in checking for gynecological cancers, including cervical, uterine and endometrial, ovarian and vulvar cancers. Some kinds of cancer, such as cervical cancer, can be detected through cancer screening methods like Pap tests and HPV tests.
To confirm the presence of cancer, a tissue sample will be taken, and the cells will be examined in the laboratory. Other tests, such as ultrasound imaging, may also be conducted.
How Gynecological Cancer is Treated
Your medical team, consisting of specialists and healthcare professionals from multiple disciplines, will collaborate on the best treatment for your type and stage of cancer. Your treatment may involve one or a combination of these options:
Minimally Invasive Surgery
We perform surgery for some gynecological cancers using the da Vinci® Surgical System, a less invasive approach to surgery that results in smaller incisions and a quicker return to regular activities. Gynecologic surgeons William Agel, MD, Richard J. Angelo, MD, and Keith W. McAteer, MD, are skilled in the da Vinci system.
As you navigate cancer, you’re not alone. Cape Cod Healthcare offers a full range of support and survivorship services.
Find in-depth information about cervical cancer, ovarian cancer and uterine cancer in our online Health Library.