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Health Briefs

Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Plano

Gynecologic Cancer & Gynecological Cancer Treatment 
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Gynecological Cancer 

Gynecologic cancer is a group of six forms of cancer which affect a woman’s reproductive organs: cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, vulvar, and fallopian tube cancer, and according to the National Cancer Institute, over 74,000 women were diagnosed with gynecologic cancer in 2004.  The good news is there are steps you can take to prevent certain kinds of gynecologic cancers. Dennis Eisenberg, M.D., gynecologist on the Baylor Scott & White - Plano medical staff, helps us better understand the various types of gynecologic cancers.   

  • Cervical cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in the cervix, the narrow section of the uterus that leads to the vagina.  Cervical cancer risk factors are numerous with the greatest being smoking, early age of first intercourse, large number of sex partners, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and HPV (human papillomavirus).
  • Ovarian cancer is a malignant tumor on or within an ovary.  The greatest risk of ovarian cancer is family history. Not having been pregnant is also a risk factor.
  • Uterine cancer is cancer of the uterus.  Uterine and endometrial cancer risk factors include obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, menopause at a late age, and the use of medications such as birth control pills, estrogen and tamoxifen use.
  • Vaginal cancer is cancer of the vagina. Vaginal cancer may be linked to HPV.
  • Vulvar cancer refers to an abnormal, cancerous growth in the external, female genitalia. Like vaginal cancer, vulvar cancer may be linked to HPV.
  • Fallopian tube cancer is cancer of the slender tube through which eggs pass from an ovary to the uterus. In the female reproductive tract, there is one ovary and one fallopian tube on each side of the uterus.  Scientists don't know whether any environmental or lifestyle factors increase the risk of fallopian tube cancer. Researchers are looking at the possibility that there might be some inherited links in developing the illness