Gynecologic cancer is any cancer that begins in a woman's reproductive organs. There are five main types of gynecologic cancers defined by where they originate: cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar.
This type of cancer begins in the cervix, which is the lower, narrow end of the uterus (also called the womb). The incidence of cervical cancer has decreased sharply as Pap screenings have become more prevalent, and more than 75 percent of women can have good outcomes after current treatments.
This type of cancer begins in the ovaries, which are on either side of the uterus. Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer among women with an estimated 22,280 new cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed in the U.S. in 2012. Ovarian cancer accounts for three percent of all new cancers in women.
There are many different types of ovarian cancer, which can be grouped into three categories:
Epithelial ovarian cancer: This is the most common type of ovarian cancer. It begins in the cells on the surface of the ovary or in the fallopian tubes.
Germ cell ovarian cancer: This is an uncommon type of ovarian cancer. It begins in egg-producing cells of the ovaries. This type of cancer is more common for young women (ages 10-29).
Sex cord-stromal ovarian cancer: This is a rare form of ovarian cancer that develops in the connective tissue cells that hold the ovaries together and make female hormones.
This type of cancer begins in the uterus, the pear-shaped organ in a woman's pelvis where the fetus grows when a woman is pregnant. Cancer of the uterus is the most common cancer of the female reproductive organs in the United States, with an estimated 47,000 new cases in 2013. Nearly 80 percent of these women will have good outcomes after treatment.
This type of cancer begins in the vagina, the channel between the bottom of the uterus and the outside of the body.
This type of cancer begins in the vulva, the outer part of the female genital organs. When vulvar cancer is detected early, it is highly curable.
The Gynecologic Oncology Program at City of Hope treats all types of gynecologic cancers.