Gynaecological Cancer

What is gynaecological cancer?

Gynaecological cancer is a type of cancer that affects a woman's reproductive system. Depending on which organ is affected the following main types can be distinguished1:

  • Cervical Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer 
  • Womb Cancer
  • Vaginal Cancer
  • Vulval Cancer

Cervical cancer

What is cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer occurs in the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. This part of the women's body is called cervix. In most cases, it is caused by a virus called Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)2.

Ovarian cancer

What is ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer forms in the tissues of the ovaries, the female reproductive glands. Ovaries are made up of 3 main kinds of cells: cells that cover the outer surface of the ovary, germ cells that produce the eggs, and cells that hold the ovary together and produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. Each type of cell can develop into a different type of tumour1. Epithelial ovarian cancer (also referred to here as ovarian carcinoma), which arise from the ovary's surface cells, accounting for approximately 90% of primary ovarian tumours. In some rare cases a tumour develops from other tissues within the ovary (non-epithelial ovarian cancer) like ovarian germ cells (the cells that produce the eggs) or structural tissue cells that hold the ovary together and produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone (stromal tumors). These tumours are mostly benign (non-cancerous) and never spread beyond the ovary. Benign tumours can be treated with surgery by removing either the ovary or the part of the ovary that contains the tumour. Malignant (cancerous) ovarian tumours can spread (metastasis) to other parts of the body and can be fatal3.

How many people get ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer is the 7th most common cancer in women worldwide (the 18th most common cancer overall), with 239,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012. It often has very mild or no symptoms at the early stages, so the disease is generally advanced when it is diagnosed4.

Womb cancer

What is womb cancer?

Womb cancer, or cancer of the uterus, is a common cancer in women. It is sometimes called uterine or endometrial cancer. Most womb cancers originate from the endometrium, the lining of the womb, but in more rare cases it can start in the muscles that surround the uterus5.

Vaginal cancer

What is vaginal cancer?

Vaginal cancer is a rare type of cancer that originates from cells of the vagina. There are mainly 2 types of vaginal cancer: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of vaginal cancer and it originates from the thin flat cells of the vagina6.

Vulval cancer

What is vulval cancer?

Vulval or vulvar cancer originates from the cells of the vulva, the external female organ. It is a rare cancer which accounts for less than 1 in every 100 cancers diagnosed in women. The incidence is higher in women above 65 years but about 15% of cases are in women under the age of 507.


References:

1. Women's cancer
Cancer Research UK, cited on 22/03/2018.

2. Cervical cancer
WebMD, cited on 22/03/2018

3. What is Ovarian Cancer?
American Cancer Society, last revised February 2016.

4. Ovarian cancer statistics.
World Cancer Research Fund International. Cited on 01/03/2018.

5. Womb cancer
NHS, cited on 22/03/2018.

6. Vaginal cancer
WebMD, cited on 22/03/2018.

7. Vulval cancer
Cancer Research UK, cited on 22/03/2018.

  1. Lynparza (olaparib)
    Lynparza (olaparib)
    by AstraZeneca AB
    for Breast Cancer, Gynaecological Cancer
    €6,619.40
  2. Rubraca (rucaparib)
    Rubraca (rucaparib)
    by Clovis Oncology, Inc.
    for Gynaecological Cancer
    €10,982.50
  3. Zejula (niraparib)
    Zejula (niraparib)
    by Tesaro UK Limited
    for Gynaecological Cancer
    €8,395.00
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