Cancer is when abnormal cells grow and replace normal cells. When these cancer cells grow and spread to other parts of the body it is called metastasis. Cancer staging (0-4) is used to determine if these abnormal cells have spread and how far they have spread. The higher the stage number, the further the cancer has spread. Gynecological cancers are known as “silent killers” because women typically are unaware of the signs and symptoms, which may result in late stage cancer diagnoses. Gynecological cancers include breast, cervical, gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD), primary peritoneal, ovarian, uterine/endometrial, vaginal and vulvar. Early detection increases the odds of successful treatment.
Symptoms for gynecological cancers may include pain, bloating, weight gain, and/or abnormal bleeding. Talking to your doctor when you notice changes may allow them to diagnose it before the disease progresses further. Treatment for cancer includes surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Your treatment will depend on your situation, including the cancer stage, and location.
* Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – “Inside Knowledge About Gynecologic Cancer Campaign”