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Gynecological Oncology

What is Gynecological Oncology?

Gynecological Oncology is a specialty combining the field of gynecology and oncology, which is specifically concerned about the diagnosis and treatment of tumor and cancer of the female reproductive tracts. Some of the concerns in the field of gynecology oncology include vulva cancer, vagina cancer, or cervix cancer. The case of Ovarian cancer almost always requires surgery for the removal of the ovaries, fallopian tube, the uterus, and perhaps the fatty layer of tissue and omentum that covers the abdomen.

Type 1 Endometrial Cancer

Type 1 endometrial cancer is slow progressing and is usually associated with the female oestrogen hormone. It is the more common type of cancer found for the category of uterus cancer. Type 1 endometrial cancer is easier to detect during its early stages and a positive percentage of up to 85% of women with Type 1 endometrial cancer have a five years or more survival chance.

Type 2 Endometrial Cancer

Type 2 endometrial cancer is rapid progressing and does not have any link to the female hormone oestrogen and usually makes up 10% of the cases of uterus cancer. Due to its rapid progressing nature, this type of cancer has a lower rate chance of survival rate.

Vulva Cancer

Vulvar cancer usually is found more prevalent in the demographics of older women although it is not a common disease. Vulvar cancer is usually caused by squamous epithelium, a condition where the cells on the outer layer of the skin becomes flattened or melanomas. Common symptoms of vulvar cancer can be itching, pain, or a burning sensation down under which can be misdiagnosed as a yeast infection. Vulvar cancer can be diagnosed as malignant vulva cancer or invasive vulva cancer. In invasive vulvar cancer, the cancer can spread through lymphatic nodes usually located at the top of the thigh within the groin area. The types of Vulvar cancer is determined by what is known as a TNM Staging System.

Treatment of Vulvar Cancer

Treatment of vulvar cancer can be through radical surgery to remove the cancer and the removal of the regional lymph nodes. The recommended conditions of a radical surgery are that the cancer must have at least two centimeters of uninfected tissue removed and usually if the cancer is large or more than 2 centimeters in size, deformity will occur. Usually plastic surgery will follow this procedure to fix the imperfection. The risk of Radical surgery is that there can be a side effect leg swelling, fluid collected in the groin area, and a long period of healing time.

Vagina Cancer

Vagina cancer is not a common condition as usually the vulva is involved so it usually falls in the category of Vulvar Cancer and when the cervix is involved, it is considered Cervix cancer. Vagina cancer usually comes from conditions related to squamous cell or from adenocarcinoma. Signs of vagina cancer can range from abnormal bleeding, contaminated discharge, or bleeding after the act of intercourse.

Treatment of Vagina cancer

Vagina cancer can be treated by radiation or surgery. Usually with surgery, the bladder or rectum may have to be removed in order to get rid of surrounding tissues and organs that the cancer may be prone to infecting. For radiation, the area with cancerous cells is irradiated to kill them and is usually placed next to the cancerous area within the vagina.

Cervix Cancer

Cervix cancer is cancer of the area that dilates during childbirth of the uterus connecting to the upper vagina and can usually develop from squamous epithelium or adenocarcinomas. The cause of cervical cancer is linked to disorders such as Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). It is a leading cause of death for women mostly in third world countries, women who engaging in smoking, and any woman who is sexually active can be at risk for cervical cancer.

Treatment of Cervix Cancer

Cervical cancer can be treated by radiation, radical surgery, or ultraradical pelvic surgery. Radiation is usually a common treatment for cervix cancer although not used to treat cancers that are in stage I or IV. Other methods of treatments include hysterectomy for cases of cancer less than 3mm deep.

Uterus Cancer

Uterus cancer, also known as endometrial cancer is cancer of the womb that usually is found beginning in the cells of the lining of the uterus, also known as the endometrium. It is believed to be more common in women who are in their post-menstrual stages.

Treatments for Uterus Cancer

Hysterectomy or when the uterus, cervix, ovaries, and fallopian tube is surgically removed while this method is usually effective for removing the cancerous source of the uterus, it also means that a woman may lose the chance to become a mother from this procedure as she loses the equipment she needs to create an offspring.


Radical hysterectomy is performed by removing the cervix away from the source of cancer and a simple hysterectomy removes the cervix but tries to have it at the closest possible location as the cancerous area but without possibility of the cancer spreading to it.

Ultraradical pelvic surgery

Ultraradical pelvic surgery is for cancer in a severe stage or may have been treated but has come back again and in this procedure the pelvic, uterus, cervix, vagina, bladder, and rectum are removed.

Radiation Therapy

The process of Radiation Therapy irradiates the pelvic area including bladder, rectum, large intestine, small intestine, bone and skin with an x-ray beam created by a linear accelerator. This procedure usually must be performed everyday for five days a week for at least five weeks and only takes a few minutes to perform. Also, a radioactive source is left in the vagina for up to several hours or days after the treatment. This is known as brachytherapy because it is slow and takes time.