Gynecological cancers are specific forms of cancer that form within a woman’s reproductive organs. There are five gynecological cancers: cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar. In rare cases, there is a sixth type of cancer, that being fallopian tube. Routine checkups are important as they provide earlier detection and better treatment outcomes.
Pelvic exams completed during a routine exam can sometimes present signs of early cancer stages. Pap smears can be effective in detecting cervical cancer.
Ovarian cancer symptoms may not be apparent in the early stages of the disease, or they mimic common stomach and digestive issues that are often mistaken for minor ailments. Women are more likely to experience symptoms once the disease has spread beyond the ovaries. Common symptoms may include: abdominal bloating/increased abdominal girth, indigestion or nausea, changes in appetite (loss of appetite or feeling full sooner), fatigue, pressure in the pelvis or lower back, a more frequent or urgent need to urinate, and changes in menstruation or bowel movements.