Gynecologic Cancer - Fairview Health Services
 
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Gynecologic Cancer

Treating gynecologic cancers

Cervix, Ovaries, Uterus, Vagina, Vulva

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Gynecologic cancers can affect your cervix, ovaries, uterus, vagina or vulva. Many are rare and can be diagnosed in their early stages through routine gynecologic exams, including the Pap smear. Many of them start with symptoms that are common among all of them, so be sure to visit your physician if you have any concerns.

Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is a slow-growing cancer that forms in tissues of your cervix. You may not have any symptoms with cervical cancer, but it can be detected with a Pap test. Cervical cancer has been found to be caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Ask your doctor about receiving an HPV test during your next regular gynecologic exam.

When should you call your doctor?
If you experience vaginal bleeding or discharge, pelvic pain or pain during intercourse, contact your physician. These symptoms are not always related to cervical cancer, but they are worth checking.

Ovarian Cancer
Cancer that begins in the cells on the surface of your ovary is called ovarian epithelial cancer. Cancer that begins in the cells that produce eggs is called malignant germ cell tumors.

When should you call your doctor?
Women with ovarian cancer sometimes experience pain or swelling in the abdomen or pelvis along with gastrointestinal problems, such as bloating, gas or constipation. These symptoms are not unique to ovarian cancer, though, and may be related to a less serious diagnosis.

Uterine Cancer
Uterine sarcoma, or endometrial cancer, is a cancer that forms in the tissue or muscles of your uterus. Uterine cancer occurs most often after menopause.

When should you call your doctor?
Notify your physician if you experience any of the following symptoms that are not normal for you:
  • Vaginal bleeding after menopause
  • Prolonged periods or bleeding between periods
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain during intercourse

Vaginal cancer
Vaginal cancer is a rare cancer that forms in the tissues of your vagina. The most common form of this cancer is squamous cell cancer that begins in the lining of your vagina.

When should you call your doctor?
See your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding
  • Watery vaginal discharge
  • A lump or mass in your vagina
  • Painful urination
  • Constipation
  • Pelvic pain

Vulvar cancer
Any cancer of the external female genital organs is called vulvar cancer. This cancer is relatively rare, with fewer than 4,500 new cases in the United States every year. Having HPV increases your risk of getting vulvar cancer.

When should you call your doctor?
Common signs of vulvar cancer include bleeding or itching. If these symptoms are worrisome, contact your physician.

For more information
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call 612-672-7272.

Care Team

Gynecologic Cancer

Hematology/Oncology

Radiation Oncology

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Our Providers Make the Difference
Fairview features nearly 4,000 providers practicing at over 200 locations throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and beyond. Fairview Clinics, University of Minnesota Physicians and our independent partner clinics provide an exceptional care experience, while lowering the overall costs of health care.
 
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