Overview of Gynecologic Oncology
Gynecologic oncology prevents, diagnose, and treats cancer that develops in the female reproductive system. Life starts in the female reproductive system. There are different parts, the vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
If you want to have a baby, you need to keep these organs healthy. You should avoid an unhealthy lifestyle that would keep you from having a healthy future. Bad habits such as smoking, poor nutrition, and regular birth control pills put great harm on fertility. Also, obesity or HPV may cause serious diseases, and threaten your health.
If cells in your body grow abnormally, cancer starts to develop. This may happen in any part of your body. Gynecologic oncology treats cancer in your reproductive system.
There are 5 cancer types:
Ovaries – each about the size of a walnut – are the small organs that create your eggs. Ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose at an early stage. It usually does not cause any symptoms until a late stage. Gynecologic oncology offers chemotherapy for ovarian cancer and surgery for any tumors.
The cervix is a narrow path that connects the womb to the vagina. Cancer may grow anywhere in the cervix. Almost all cervical cancer develops because of an infection from certain types of HPV. You can avoid it by having regular screening tests.
A baby grows in the uterus (womb) during your pregnancy. Most cases happen after menopause. Also, it is most common in women with obesity.
Vaginal cancer is very rare compared to the other types. This cancer also develops because of an infection from HPV. Moreover, older age is an important factor in vaginal cancer. It usually grows very slowly so, having regular cervical screenings is the best way to prevent it.
The vulva is the external part of the female genitals. It includes the lips around the vagina, clitoris, and 2 small glands on both sides of the vagina.
Vulva cancer is rare and usually develops in women over the age of 65. The chance of development is very low before menopause.
Signs and Symptoms
In gynecologic oncology, we can not emphasize the importance of early diagnosis enough. Finding the diseases early is necessary for recovery without any harm. Therefore, you should recognize the following symptoms quickly and see a doctor immediately:
- Pain in your pelvis
- Unusual bleeding or discharge
- Pain during sex
- Frequent changes in bowel movement
Symptoms may not be the same for each patient. Therefore, doctors plan treatment differently for everyone and tailor it just for you.
Your doctor uses both surgical and less-invasive treatments together. Of course, a smaller tumor gives a better chance to end cancer with chemotherapy. Thus, surgery is essential to treat cancer for good.
Gynecologic oncology offers several procedures to treat cancer and help you to avoid infertility or other conditions.
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