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Common Types of GYN Cancers


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The five most common gynecologic cancers are:

  • Cervical
  • Ovarian
  • Uterine
  • Vaginal
  • Vulvar


Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer begins in the cervix, which connects the vagina to the upper part of the uterus.  It is estimated that in 2015 more than 12,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer, and more than 4,000 will die from the disease.  Cervical cancer was once a leading cause of cancer death for women, but today cervical cancer is highly preventable thanks to the Pap test and the HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine.  Pap tests can lead to early detectin of cervical cancer by screening for changes in the cervix that could lead to cancer.  The HPV vaccine is a series of shots that protect against HPV infection and the health problems it can cause, including cervical cancer.  Cervical cancer is highly treatable when it is found early.  More information on cervical cancer is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Cancer Society.     

Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer begins in the ovaries, which are located in the pelvis on either side of the uterus, and are responsible for producing female hormones and eggs.  Ovarian cancer is the deadliest gynecologic cancer.  More than 22,000 women will be diagnosed in 2015 and more than 14,000 will die.  There is no early detection or screening test for ovarian cancer.  

Uterine Cancer

Uterine Cancer begins in the uterus, which is the pear-shaped organ in a woman's pelvis.  Also called the womb, the uterus is where the baby grown when a woman is pregnant.  Most uterine cancers are found in women who are going through or have gone through menopause.  Each year, approximately 35,000 women in the United States get uterine cancer.  

Vaginal Cancer

Vaginal Cancer begins in the vagina, which is also called the birth canal, is the hollow, tube-like channel between the bottom of the uterus and the outside of the body.  When vagina cancer is found early, treatments is most effective.  While vaginal cancer is very rare, all women are at risk.  Each year, approximately 1,000 women in the United States get vaginal cancer.  

Vulvar Cancer

Vulvar Cancer egins in the vulva, which is the outer part of the female genital organs.  It has two folds of skin called the labia.  Vulvar cancer most often occurs on the inner edges of the labia.  While vulvar cancer is very rare, all women are at risk.  Each year, approximately 3,500 women in the United States get vulvar cancer.