In the U.S., more than 98,000 women a year are diagnosed with a gynecological cancer, which includes cancers of the female reproductive organs, including the cervix, ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, vagina and vulva.
Risk factors vary depending on the type of gynecological cancer, but it is well known that almost all cervical cancers are caused by HPV, or Human Papillomavirus. Women with mutations in the BRCA genes have an increased risk of ovarian and breast cancers. Prophylactic (preventive) surgery to remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes is recommended for women with BRCA genetic mutations to lower their risk of developing these cancers.
Screening & diagnosis
Screening and diagnosis will vary by type of gynecological cancer. One of the most well-known tools is the test used to screen for cervical cancer, the Pap test or Pap smear. Use of this test has helped reduce deaths from cervical cancer by more than 70%. Today, HPV DNA testing is also used in combination to help detect precursors of cervical cancer and patients at risk. There are now two vaccines approved for the prevention of the most common strains of HPV linked to cervical cancer. The vaccines are recommended for use in girls ages 9 to 26 (and in boys as well, to prevent HPV infection). There is currently no standard or routine screening test for ovarian or fallopian tube cancers. Because it often doesn't cause symptoms until the disease has become advanced, and symptoms that do exist may be caused by other conditions, ovarian cancer has often progressed to an advanced stage (metastasized) by the time it is diagnosed.
Treatment options will vary depending on the type and stage of gynecological cancer. gynecological cancers are typically treated by using one or more of the following: surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.
White Plains Hospital Center for Cancer Care has gynecological oncologists with extensive training and expertise in caring for patients with all kinds of GYN cancers. We also offer minimally invasive robotic surgery for many types of gynecological cancers. No matter what type of GYN cancer you have, we have a multidisciplinary team who will ensure you receive the best possible care during and after treatment.