Comprehensive Gynecologic Cancer Care

Catholic Health Cancer Institutes across Long Island offer excellence in gynecologic cancer care for the five major types of gynecologic cancer—ovarian, cervical, endometrial uterine, vaginal, and vulvar.

Our board-certified oncologists are experts at diagnosing the precise stage of each type of gynecologic cancer, which is important for treatment and surgical procedures. We also treat precancerous conditions, cancer or tumors that affect the female reproductive system.

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Gynecologic Cancer Types and Signs & Symptoms

The cervix is located at the lower, narrow end of your uterus. It connects the vagina to the upper part of the uterus. Most cervical cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which spreads through sexual intercourse or skin-to-skin contact.

Cervical cancer usually grows slowly. If found early, it is nearly 100% treatable. Early detection through HPV and Pap tests improves your likelihood of successful treatment.

Signs and symptoms of cervical cancer include:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Pelvic pain
  • Unusual vaginal discharge

The uterus is a pear-shaped organ located in the pelvis below the stomach and between the hip bones.

Endometrial, or uterine cancer, is the most common cancer of the female reproductive organ. It is most likely to affect post-menopausal women. When cancer forms in the lining of the uterus or endometrium, it is called endometrial cancer.

Signs and symptoms of endometrial uterine cancer include:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • Pelvic pain
  • Unusual vaginal discharge

The ovaries are located on either side of the uterus. Each is about the size of an almond. Ovaries produce eggs as well as the hormones progesterone and estrogen.

Ovarian cancer often goes undetected until it has spread to other areas because its earliest symptoms are vague and difficult to identify.

Signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer include:

  • Bloating or feeling full without eating a big meal
  • Irregular or unusually heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Lower back pain
  • Nausea, bloating or abdominal pressure
  • Newly developed constipation
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Swollen belly with unexplained weight loss
  • Unusual fatigue or extreme tiredness

The vagina is a muscular tube that leads from the cervix to the outer genitals. Vaginal cancer typically develops in the cells that line the vagina’s surface. It is a rare form of cancer that has few early symptoms.

Once it has progressed past its earliest stages, signs and symptoms of vaginal cancer include:

  • A mass or lump in the vagina
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse

The vulva is the outer part of a female's genitals. It has two folds of skin called the labia. Vulvar cancer most commonly develops on the inner edges of the labia and typically grows slowly over several years. It may not produce symptoms when in its earliest stages.

Once it has progressed, signs and symptoms of vulvar cancer include:

  • Bleeding or discharge not related to a normal menstrual period
  • Vaginal itching or burning
  • Vaginal pain

Testing

Ovarian, cervical, and endometrial uterine cancers are the most common types of gynecologic cancers. A Pap test (Pap smear) is recommended for cervical cancer screening. For ovarian and endometrial uterine cancers, annual pelvic exams are critical to detection because no effective screening tests exist. Catholic Health cancer experts encourage patients to schedule their annual gynecological exams.

 

Learn more about early detection screenings

Treatments

Catholic Health gynecologic cancer specialists use the most advanced and latest treatments for all gynecologic cancers at every stage, including nonsurgical and surgical procedures. Surgical procedures include laparoscopy, robotic surgery and traditional surgical procedures.

We use minimally invasive procedures whenever possible for:

  • Less blood loss
  • Less pain
  • Quicker recovery
  • Reduced risk for complications
  • Smaller incisions

Our Team and Approach

The gynecologic cancer experts at Catholic Health work collaboratively with you to help you make well-informed choices and to create a tailored treatment plan to achieve the best possible outcome.

Your team of compassionate cancer specialists include board-certified oncologists and gynecologic surgeons as well as registered nurse navigators and infusion/chemotherapy nurses. Board-certified radiologists use the latest advances in diagnostic imaging.

At Catholic Health, we treat more than the body. Our care team includes social workers and spiritual support staff who can offer comfort and support to you and your loved ones.

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Catholic Health Cancer Institutes are accredited for excellence in care.

 

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