Ovarian, cervical and uterine cancer

Whether it's in the ovaries, cervix, uterus or another part of her reproductive system, each woman's risk of getting gynecologic cancer increases as she ages.

Our experts know the unique aspects of each type of gynecologic cancer. And they have the skills and compassion to bring you and your family through cancer diagnosis and treatment.

What is ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer causes more deaths than any other gynecologic cancer. When found early, ovarian cancer is very treatable.

Ovary cancer symptoms can be difficult to notice. That is why it is important to know what's typical for your body. Contact your doctor about symptoms that are not typical.

What is cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer is the easiest gynecologic cancer to prevent, detect and treat.

A Pap smear can find cervical cancer early, when it's most curable. In fact, six out of 10 women who find out they have cervical cancer never had a Pap smear or hadn't been tested for five years.

Nearly all cases of cervical cancer are due to the human papilloma virus (HPV or genital warts). Ways to prevent this sexually transmitted disease include getting the HPV vaccine and practicing safe sex.

What is uterine cancer?

Cancer of the uterus is also called endometrial cancer because it often occurs in the lining of the uterus, the endometrium.

The earlier uterine cancer is found, the more effective treatment can be. Contact your doctor if you're experiencing bleeding that is heavier or longer than usual. This could mean having periods that last longer than a week. It could also be bleeding after menopause.

Source: United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Gynecologic Cancers
Reviewed By: Paula Colwell, RN, manager, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute
First Published: 10/08/2009
Last Reviewed: 10/08/2009

medical illustration of the female reproductive system

A woman's reproductive system and gynecologic cancer

Cancer is named for the part of the body where it starts. Gynecologic cancer begins in different places within a woman's reproductive system: the ovaries, uterus, vagina, vulva, and sometimes the fallopian tubes.

The most common types are ovarian cancer, cervical cancer and uterine (endometrial) cancer.