Learn the symptoms of cancers that start in a woman’s reproductive organs and how to lower your risk.
Gynecologic cancers are cancers of women’s reproductive organs. The five main types are cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar cancer.
What Are the Symptoms?
These could be symptoms of a gynecologic cancer—
- Unusual vaginal bleeding, like having longer or heavier periods than normal or bleeding after you’ve gone through menopause.
- Pelvic pain or pressure that doesn’t go away.
- Feeling too full, too fast, even when you eat just a little.
It is important to pay attention to your body and know what is normal for you, so you can recognize the symptoms of gynecologic cancer. If you notice anything unusual and it goes on for two weeks or longer, see a doctor.
How Can I Lower My Risk?
You can lower your risk for some gynecologic cancers with a vaccine and screening tests.
Some gynecologic cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus. The HPV vaccine can help prevent cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers.
Cervical Cancer Screening Tests
Cervical cancer is the only gynecologic cancer that has recommended screening tests. The Pap test (or Pap smear) and HPV test can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early.
If you have a family history of breast, ovarian, uterine, or colorectal cancer, you may have a higher risk for developing these cancers. Talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk.