Gynecology Cancer Treatment & Diagnostics in Chembur, Mumbai
Gynecological cancer is a term given to a group of cancers that find their origin in a woman’s reproductive system.
What do we need to know about gynecological cancer?
Ovarian cancers are one of the most common causes of gynecological malignancies in India and have been on the rise for the past few years. Globally, ovarian and cervical cancers are the most common forms of gynecological cancers. Other forms of gynecological cancers include cervical, uterine, vulvar and vaginal cancers.
To seek treatment, you can consult a gynecology doctor near you or you can visit a gynecology hospital near you.
What are the types of gynecological cancer? What causes them?
- Cervical cancer begins in the cervix, the part of the uterus (womb) opening into the vagina. Abnormalities in the cells lining the inner and outer walls of the cervix can cause cervical cancer. It is caused mostly by variants of human papillomavirus (HPV) that may be transmitted sexually.
- Ovarian cancer is caused by gene mutations that affect the cells lining the ovaries. Ovaries are concerned with production of female hormones like estrogen and are also responsible for releasing eggs. A pair of fallopian tubes carry the eggs to the uterus. Epithelial cells lining the ovaries and the fallopian tubes may become cancerous leading to epithelial ovarian cancer.
- Alternatively, cancerous growth in the eggs and the cells responsible for female hormone production can lead to rare forms of cancer called germ cell cancer and stromal cell cancer respectively.
- Uterine cancer is caused when the cells in the inner uterine lining (known as endometrium) become cancerous due to mutations. The condition is called uterine endometrial cancer. Uterine sarcomas originate from muscles of the uterus or from other uterine tissues in the body.
- Vaginal and vulvar cancers are caused by abnormal cell growth in the vagina, the main birth canal with an opening outside the body, and the vulva, the external part of the female genitalia.
What are the symptoms?
Almost all forms of gynecological cancers have similar symptoms, albeit occurring at different times with varying severity.
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge is one of the most common indicators of gynecological abnormalities (sans vulvar).
- Feeling bloated or too full very easily, dealing with appetite issues or having abnormal abdominal and/or pelvic pain while eating are all signs of ovarian cancers.
- Pelvic pain is common to ovarian and uterine cancers as well.
- Increased frequency or urgency to urinate or increased rates of constipation are strong pointers for ovarian and vaginal cancers.
- Frequent itching, tenderness or redness of the vulva, burning sensation while urinating, appearance of rashes or red warts in the vulva are indicators for vulvar cancer.
When do you need to see a doctor?
If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, consult a doctor.
You can request an appointment at Apollo Spectra Hospitals, Chembur, Mumbai.
Call 1860 500 2244 to book an appointment.
What are the risk factors?
- The most common risk factor for any form of cancer is inherited genetic mutation. You should know your family history and get screened regularly.
- Anyone undergoing/completing hormonal replacement therapy is at a risk of developing ovarian cancer due to hormonal imbalance.
- Endometriosis and ectopic pregnancies put women at a risk of uterine or ovarian cancers.
- Age and obesity are considered to be significant risk factors for any form of cancer.
How can you prevent gynecological cancers?
- Getting a pap smear test is one of the best ways to screen and diagnose cases of cervical cancer at early stages
- Other biophysical techniques include vaginal and vulvar smears, laparoscopy and colposcopy.
- Ultrasound techniques can give an idea of the ovarian volume and endometrial thickness and help in detecting endometrial malignancies.
- Testing for biochemical markers like CA125, CA 19-9, gonadotropin peptides, BRCA 1 and 2, alpha-fetoprotein in blood are additional confirmatory tests.
- Vaccination for women above 26 years is crucial for preventing HPV infection and cervical cancer.
How are gynecological cancers treated?
If detected at initial stages, surgery is done to remove the associated tissue completely or partially. At advanced stages, it might be a mix of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.
A sound knowledge of family history, appropriate education and awareness and screening are the key to prevent gynecological cancers.
A pap smear test involves collecting cells from the cervix to microscopically test for abnormal cells that may develop into cancer if left untreated.
HPV tests are conducted along with pap smears every 5 years. Talk to your doctor about co-testing only if you are in the 30-65 age-bracket.
Surgery is curative for most cases. Advanced cases are well managed using radiotherapy, chemotherapy alongside surgery, when needed.