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What is gynecologic cancer?

Dr. Sharyn N. Lewin, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

The female reproductive organs: uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, vagina and vulva may develop uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells to other parts of the body. Over 78,000 American women will be affected by gynecological cancers and of these about 28,000 women will die.

Most causes of cancer are unknown, but some like breast, uterine and ovarian cancers are seen more frequently in familes (due to damaged or mutated genes), cervical cancer and some forms of vaginal and vulvar cancers are associated with the Human Papillovirus (HPV) and medications like Tamoxifen can play a role in developing uterine cancer.

Women who develop these cancers should be referred to a Gynecologic Oncologist surgeon who has an additional 3-4 years of specialized education after completing training as an Obstetrican-Gynecologist. Survival and outcome of these women are vastly impoved when care for by the specialists.

It is the study and management of tumors of the reproductive organs of women.

Dr. Kevin R. Brader, MD
Gynecologic Oncologist

Gynecologic cancers start in a woman's reproductive organs and can potentially spread to other parts of the body. The three most prevalent types of gynecologic cancer are uterine/endometrial, ovarian and cervical. Other gynecologic cancers include vaginal and vulvar. Gynecologic cancers are complex and may require multiple types of treatment such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.