All of the parts of the female reproductive system like the vagina, the cervix, the vulva, the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, and the uterus have the tendency to acquire cancers. The gynaecologic cancers could directly affect the nearby organs and tissues. They are also known to metastasize or spread through the lymphatic system and the bloodstream, thus affecting other distant parts of the body as well.
Early detection of particular gynaecologic cancers, especially cervical cancer, can be done through regular examinations of the pelvic area, Pap smears, and other tests of the same kind. These examinations are even known to sometimes aid in preventing cancer because they are responsible for detecting dysplasia or precancerous changes before they develop into cancer. Periodic pelvic examinations could also identify early cancer signs in the vulva and the vagina. However, the cancers that develop in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and uterus are difficult to detect during this type of examination.
The staging of a gynaecologic cancer or any other type of cancer for that matter will be based on the size of the cancer and the breadth by which it has already spread. Some of the procedures that the patient might be subjected to may include computed tomography or CT, ultrasonography, chest X-rays, bone scans utilizing a radioactive substance, and magnetic resonance imaging or MRI.
The Top 5 Cancers concerning the female reproductive system are:
1. The most prevalent cancer experienced by women when it comes to their reproductive system is the uterine cancer. This develops on the uterine lining, which is known as the endometrium, thus it is also known as the endometrial cancer.
2. The second gynaecologic cancer that is most common among women is ovarian cancer. This is known to be fatal because it is generally advanced already upon diagnosis. This is because early stages of this type of cancer do not show any symptoms and even advanced stages show nonspecific symptoms as well.
3. Cervical cancer is known to be number three among all the gynaecologic cancers among women. By its name alone, it can be seen that this cancer develops right in the cervix, which can be found at the lower area of the uterus. Usually affecting women aged 35 to 55, this type of cancer can also affect younger women, even those in their twenties.
4. Meanwhile, the vulvar cancer is known as the fourth most common cancer that occurs in the female reproductive system. Occurring on the vulva, which is the external part of the vagina, the vulvar cancer makes up for three to four percent of all gynaecologic cancers.
5. The fifth most common gynaecologic cancer is the vaginal cancer. This makes up one percent of the cancers of the female reproductive system and normally affects older women, usually aged 60 to 65 years old upon diagnosis.
Treatment for gynaecologic cancers depends on several factors, including the type of cancer, its extent (stage), location and the patient’s overall health. Sometimes, genital cancer may be treated by using only one type of treatment. In other cases, it may be best cured using a combination of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.