Cancer of the Cervix, Ovaries, Uterus and Vulva
Cervical cancer has gone from the second to the 13th most common cause of cancer death in American women during the last century -- due in large part to successful screening efforts, predominantly involving widespread availability of the Pap smear. Still, cervical cancer remains the single most pressing cancer concern for women in many parts of the world. In the U.S., more than 14,500 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer annually, and failure to be screened remains one of the most cited causes.
Cervical cancer is thought to be a late development of infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV), some strains of which are also responsible for genital warts. The transformation from normal cervical tissue to cancer is thought to typically take years; highlighting the importance of screening is the fact that dysplasias, or "pre-cancerous changes," are usually detectable months to years before the development of cancer. Treatment of dysplasias can usually be done without major surgery and it is highly successful at preventing cancer from developing.
Ovarian cancer affects one in 70 women. There are about 26,000 women diagnosed each year in the United States. The numerous forms of ovarian cancer are divided into three classes: epithelial, germ cell and stromal cancers. Epithelial ovarian cancer is both the most common and most threatening of these, accounting for roughly 85 percent of all diagnosed ovarian cancers.
Ovarian cancer typically occurs in older women. The average age at diagnosis is 62, but the range extends over virtually every decade of life; and some tumor types (such as germ cell and borderline cancers) occur most commonly in women in their 20s. Ovarian cancer can be "familial" (affecting multiple family members over multiple generations) but most cases are considered "sporadic" meaning the affected individuals have no obvious risk factors and no significant family history.
Almost 35,000 women annually are diagnosed with cancer of the uterine lining (also called endometrial cancer) making it the most common of gynecologic malignancies. Depending on how advanced endometrial cancer is when diagnosed, treatment can involve surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of these.
Vulvar cancer affects about 3,300 American women annually. Vulvar cancer, like cervical cancer, is associated with the human papilloma virus (HPV). A correlation with smoking has also been established, but whether this "causes" vulvar cancer or simply improves the conditions for getting or growing vulvar cancer remains unclear. Vulvar cancer rates in the United States have been increasing in recent decades. Further vulvar dysplasias (pre-cancers), which may precede the diagnosis of cancer by a decade or more, have quadrupled since the mid-1970s, indicating a potential for further rise in the incidence of this disease coming years.
For more information on gynecologic cancer, visit University of Minnesota Physicians Cancer Care at Fairview
Doctors & Providers
|Kirsten Malvey, RN, MSN, WHNP|
Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
|Sees Patients At:|
Fairview Maple Grove Medical Center
Locations by city:
|Ridges Cancer Clinic|
303 E. Nicollet Blvd., Suite 320
Burnsville, MN 55337
|Southdale Cancer Clinic|
6363 France Ave. S., Suite 610
Edina, MN 55435
|Cancer Center at Fairview Maple Grove Medical Center|
14500 99th Ave. N
Maple Grove, MN 55369
|Gynecologic Cancer Clinic|
First Floor, Clinic 1C
516 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
|Radiation Oncology Clinic|
500 Harvard St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55454
|Lakes Cancer Clinic|
University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview - Wyoming 5200 Fairview Boulevard, Suite 1300
Wyoming, MN 55092
Related Health Articles
Discharge Instructions for Cancer of the Cervix
Discharge Instructions for Cancer of the Ovary
Discharge Instructions for Cancer of the Uterus
Genital HPV: Diagnosis and Treatment
Home Infusion Therapy
Oncology: Coping With Hair Loss
Problems Laparoscopic Hysterectomy Can Treat
Receiving IV Chemotherapy
What Is Cervical Cancer?
When You Have an Abnormal Pap Test