Symptoms, Treatment And Types Of Gynaecological Cancers

Cancer is a life-threatening condition caused by the uncontrollable division of cells in the body, which leads to the destruction of tissues in the body. When cancer affects organs in the reproductive system, it is called gynaecological cancer. A good private gynaecologist in London can detect and manage gynaecological cancer.

Gynaecological oncology is a medical field that deals with tumours affecting the female reproductive system. Gynaecological cancer develops from tumours or cancers in the female reproductive organs. Gynaecological cancers include cancer of the vulva, vagina, uterus, ovary, and cervix.

Gynaecological cancers present several symptoms, and each type of cancer has specific symptoms. The only way to detect gynaecological cancer is to undergo a consultation with a gynaecologist.

Cancers of the reproductive system account for most cancer-related deaths in women. A lot of women get diagnosed with cancer of the reproductive system, so, it is important to know the different types of cancers that affect the reproductive system and their symptoms.

Types of gynaecological cancer

Six types of gynaecological cancers are known, but only three out of the six are common. These cancers include the following.

  • Vaginal cancer
  • Uterine cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Gestational trophoblastic tumour
  • Vaginal cancer
  • Vulvar cancer

Common types of gynaecological cancers

The following are the prevalent types of gynaecological cancer.

  1. Uterine cancer

Uterine cancer occurs in the uterus, and it is a common type of cancer in women. Gynaecological cancer can affect any woman, but certain factors put some women at risk of developing this cancer. The risk factors for uterine cancer include hypertension, diabetes, using oestrogen without progesterone, obesity, amongst others.

There are three types of uterine cancer, and they include endometrial stromal tumours, endometrial cancer, and uterine sarcomas. The most common of them is endometrial cancer, while the other two types rarely occur.

Endometrial cancer is curable, and most women recover from it. In most cases, the diagnosis of endometrial cancer is early, and treatment involves laparoscopic surgery. This surgery is minimally invasive, and treatment requires hospitalisation for about 2 – 3 days.

A few women (about 10 – 15%) with endometrial cancer require radiotherapy or both chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Common symptoms of endometrial cancer

  • Vaginal spotting or bleeding following menopause
  • Pain while having sex
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Lower abdominal pain, persistent for over two weeks


  1. Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is another type of prevalent gynaecological cancer. It accounts for most death caused by cancer in women. Thousands of women get diagnosed with cancer of the cervix yearly. The awareness for cervical cancer is low, and most treatment facilities are poor, so most women do not get diagnosed until the condition develops to a late stage.

Cervical cancer is also prevalent because some strains of HPV lead to infection in the cervix, which develops into cervical cancer.

Common cervical cancer symptoms

  • Abnormal bleeding from the vagina
  • Vaginal odour
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Bleeding after sex

Getting a Pap smear test and cancer screening regularly can help in the early detection of cervical cancer. Early diagnosis of cervical cancer increases the chances of survival. Early stages of cervical cancer can be treated with radical surgery, but advanced stages of the condition may need a combination of radiation surgery and chemotherapy.

Young girls can get vaccinated before they become sexually active to prevent HPV infections which may be lead to cervical cancer.

  1. Ovarian cancer

Three types of ovarian cancer are known. They include germ cell cancer, ovarian cancer, and epithelial cancer. Cancer of the epithelium is the most common type of ovarian cancer, and it is responsible for about 85% of ovarian cancer.

Common ovarian cancer symptoms

  • Pelvic and abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite or eating difficulty
  • Sudden and extreme bloating
  • Increased urgency or frequency of urination

If the ovarian tumour is benign, surgery can cure it, but a malignant tumour may need chemotherapy and cytoreductive tumour surgery. Epithelial ovarian cancer is aggressive and can reoccur at during the advanced stages. If this happens, chemotherapy or surgery becomes the best course of treatment.

Germ cell tumour is more common in younger women, and surgery can cure about 95% of this condition. Other cases of germ cell tumour may require chemotherapy or surgery. The preferred course of treatment in young patients is fertility preservation therapy which spares the other uterus and ovary.

Stromal cell cancer develops slowly, and surgery is usually sufficient to cure it.

Rare types of gynaecological cancers

The rare types of gynaecological cancer include the following.

  1. Vulvar cancer

Cancer of the vulva rarely occurs. It affects the external female genital area. It is more common in older women and has the following symptoms.

  • Persistent open ulcer or sore
  • Burning sensation or pain while urinating
  • Pink, white or red bumps with wart-like surfaces
  • Rough and white patches
  • Bleeding not related to menstruation

Vulva cancer is curable with radical surgery. In some cases, the patient may need radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

  1. Vaginal cancer

It is a rare gynaecological cancer, affecting women above 50 years. Most cases of vaginal cancer result from an HPV infection. Symptoms of vaginal cancer include:

  • Pain during and after sex
  • Abnormal discharge and bleeding from the vagina
  • Presence of visible mass

Radical surgery can treat vaginal cancer, but in some cases,patients may also need chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

  1. Gestational trophoblastic tumours (GTD)

This type of gynaecological cancer is known as a group of cancer associated with pregnancy. They are very rare and sub-divided into five. Five amongst them are malignant while the other one is benign.

It mostly starts with the cells that form the placenta, known as trophoblast. The trophoblast surrounds the embryo, and the condition leads to the formation of benign tumours, which is curable with chemotherapy.

If you experience any of these symptoms associated with the different kinds of gynaecological cancer, visit Gynae UK to carry out a diagnosis. You can call us on 020 7183 0692 to book an appointment with our gynaecologist.

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