Gynecological cancer is the broad term that describes all of the cancers that start in the female reproductive organs. These include the cervix, uterus, vulva, vagina, and ovaries. Depending on where the cancer starts, symptoms can look pretty different.
“Most cancers in the body do not develop in the same way or along the same timeline. There are no screening tests for ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulva cancer, so it is important to pay attention to your body,” says OB-GYN (obstetrician and gynecologist) Dr. Barbara Levy. “If you are experiencing new symptoms, you should report them to your health care professional.”
It’s estimated that there will be around 115,130 new cases of gynecological cancer diagnosed in the US in 2022. Changes to your reproductive health can be scary, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Your health care provider is there to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
Here, Dr. Levy explains the signs and symptoms associated with the five main types of gynecological cancer and what tests are available for detecting them so you know what to expect.