Gynecologic cancers often involve the uterus, ovaries, cervix, vulva, vagina, fallopian tubes, or the peritoneum.
The most common gynecologic cancer in the US is endometrial cancer, followed by ovarian cancer. Cervical cancer is not very common in developed countries because screening with the Papanicolaou (Pap) test and with human papillomavirus (HPV) testing are widely available and effective.
Types of Gynecologic Cancer
*Cervical cancer begins in the cervix, which is the lower, narrow end of the uterus. (The uterus is also called the womb.)
*Ovarian cancer begins in the ovaries, which are located on each side of the uterus.
*Uterine cancer begins in the uterus, the pear-shaped organ in a woman’s pelvis where the baby grows when she is pregnant.
*Vaginal cancer begins in the vagina, which is the hollow, tube-like channel between the bottom of the uterus and the outside of the body.
*Vulvar cancer begins in the vulva, the outer part of the female genital organs.
Each gynecologic cancer is unique, with different signs and symptoms, different risk factors (things that may increase your chance of getting a disease), and different prevention strategies. All women are at risk for gynecologic cancers, and risk increases with age. When gynecologic cancers are found early, treatment is most effective.