Gynecologic cancers occur in the female reproductive organs. Women often experience
symptoms of abdominal pain or bloating, or abnormal vaginal bleeding that prompt
them to seek medical attention. The University of Florida Division of Gynecologic
Oncology at Shands Jacksonville provides diagnostic and patient care services to
women with gynecologic cancers.
Gynecologic cancers are detected in various ways. A suspicious finding may be noted
in an examination or imaging study, such as a pelvic sonogram or computerized tomogram
(CT), or a routine Pap smear may be abnormal. If an abnormality is noted, a tissue
sample or biopsy must be obtained to determine if cancer is present. This can be
done in the office or during a pelvic examination under anesthesia in an operating
The initial examination is most often done by an
obstetrics and gynecology specialist. If more advanced cancer is diagnosed,
the patient will usually be referred to a gynecologic oncologist for further evaluation,
treatment and follow-up care.
The seven main types of gynecologic cancer are:
- Cancers of the uterine corpus (endometrial cancer)
- Ovarian cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Vulvar cancer
- Fallopian tube cancer
- Vaginal cancer
- Placental cancer
Combined, this group of cancers is the fourth most common site of cancer in women
lung and colon cancers.