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Everything to know about gynaecological cancers

The four main types of gynaecological cancers are:

  • Cervical cancer

  • Ovarian cancer

  • Uterine, or womb cancer

  • Vaginal and vulval cancer

Symptoms of cervical cancer

  • Bleeding between periods

  • Bleeding during and after sex

  • Bleeding after the menopause

  • Changes to your usual bleeding such as heavier than usual periods

  • Changes to your vaginal discharge

  • Back or abdomen pain

  • Pain during sex

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that can cause cervical cancer as it can change the cells in the cervix, which can develop into cervical cancer.

It is important to go for regular cervical screening tests, and if abnormal cells have been found will be referred for a colposcopy.

Symptoms of ovarian cancer

  • Bloating

  • Lack of appetite

  • Feeling full quickly

  • Needing to urinate more often

  • Changes to your usual bowel habits

  • Indigestion

  • Back pain

  • Feeling more tired than usual

  • Post-menopausal bleeding

If you have members of close family with ovarian cancer, you may wish to have your ovaries removed. It can also help to stop smoking and maintaining a health lifestyle.

Symptoms of uterine cancer (womb cancer)

  • Changes to your usual monthly bleeding

  • Bleeding between periods

  • Post-menopausal bleeding

  • Bleeding during sex

  • Change to your usual discharge

  • A lump in your abdomen or pelvis

  • Pain during sex

  • Blood in your urine

  • Pain in your lower back or pelvis

It is possible to have a higher risk of uterine cancer if you have high levels of oestrogen in your body.

You can have higher levels of oestrogen if you take HRT, have never had a baby, have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), went through menopause late, and are overweight.

Symptoms of vaginal cancer

  • A lump in the vagina

  • Skin changes in the vagina

  • Bleeding after sex

  • Post-menopausal bleeding

  • Bleeding between periods

  • Itchy vagina

  • Pain when urinating

  • Changes to your discharge

Vaginal cancer is often caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) virus. It is a rarer gynaecological cancer.

Symptoms of vulva cancer

  • Pain and soreness on the vulva

  • Itchy vulva

  • A lump or sore on the vulva

  • Bleeding from the vulva

  • Blood stained discharge

  • Pain when urinating

  • A mole on the vulva that has changed appearance

Vulval cancer is also rare, but the risk increases with age, having skin conditions affecting the vulva, smoking, having abnormal cells in the vulva and having several HPV infections.

Treatment for gynaecological cancers

Your gynaecologist will discuss your results with you. If you are told you have a gynaecological cancer, further tests will usually be required to determine the size and spread of the cancer, such as blood tests, MRI scans, CT scans and internal examinations.

Your treatment plan will be individualised to you and will depend on how big the cancer is and if it has spread.

It is important to note that the symptoms of gynaecological cancers can also be symptoms of other benign women's health conditions, such as fibroids and endometriosis. It is best to see a professional Gynaecologist Consultant to rule out anything serious and treat the cause of your symptoms.

How do I book a consultation?

You can book a consultation with Evi Bakali via her secretary.

Appointments are available via private medical insurance or paying for yourself. Click here for the most up to date self funding fees and for private medical insurance information.

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