Gynaecological cancer what you need to know

Every year gynaecological cancer affects thousands of people.

Gynaecological cancers are cancers that start in the cervix, ovaries, womb, vagina or vulva. Your risk for most of these cancers increases as you get older and after the menopause, meaning it’s more important than ever to be aware of the signs later in life.

The symptoms of gynaecological cancers will depend on what type of cancer it is. But there are certain symptoms common to many gynaecological cancers you should look out for including:

  • abnormal bleeding from your vagina, such as bleeding between periods, after sex or after the menopause
  • new vaginal discharge, particularly if you have gone or are going through the menopause
  • pain during sex

Other symptoms are more specific to certain gynaecological cancers including:

  • a lump, pain, soreness or persistent itching around your vulva or vagina – these are symptoms of vulval or vaginal cancers
  • persistent bloating or pain in your abdomen – this can be a symptom of ovarian cancer

Cancer of the womb (also known as uterine cancer) is the most common gynaecological cancer, with nearly 10,000 people diagnosed every year. This is followed by ovarian cancer, which is diagnosed in around 7,000 people every year. Both types of cancer are more common in older people, with the highest rates in people in their 70s.

Cervical cancer is the one gynaecological cancer that’s more common in younger people. This is diagnosed in around 3,000 people every year. Vaginal and vulval cancers are the least common of the gynaecological cancers.

There are certain things you can do to reduce your risk of gynaecological cancers including:

  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • keeping active
  • stopping smoking

There are many good treatments available for gynaecological cancers. These may include:

  • surgery, such as a hysterectomy, to remove the affected tissues and organs (such as, your womb, cervix or ovaries)
  • chemotherapy
  • radiotherapy

How successful your treatment is will depend on several factors, including the type of cancer and how advanced it is when it’s diagnosed. Your doctor will go through your treatment options with you.

If you are concerned about any of the symptoms mentioned above and would like to book in for a private appointment you can do so by calling 0161 394 0319 or by using our online enquiry form.

Right Menu Icon