Cancer of the reproductive system is an extremely difficult time in any woman's life, bringing its own unique set of physical and emotional challenges.
Adventist Midwest Health's gynecologic cancer specialists understand the sensitive and personal nature of this type of illness, and that's why they are committed to providing you with compassionate, first-rate care close to home.
Read on to find out more about the types of female reproductive cancers we treat and how to make an appointment.
Uterine cancer is the most common type of gynecological cancer with more than 40,000 women diagnosed each year. Uterine cancer starts in the endometrium, the lining of the uterus. Having a hormone imbalance can make some women more susceptible to developing the cancer than others. This hormone imbalance is more likely when a woman is obese, is taking estrogen without a progestin, has polycystic ovary syndrome, has never been pregnant, or has never breast-fed. The most common symptom is abnormal bleeding after menopause. Women with more advanced stages may experience unexplained weight loss.
Although 11,000 women get cervical cancer each year, it’s one of the most preventable gynecological cancers and the most easily treated when found early. A woman can have HPV (human papillomavirus) for years without knowing it. A Pap smear can detect these abnormal cells before they turn into cancer. The HPV vaccine is also a way to prevent cervical cancer when taken before a girl becomes sexually active.
Ovarian cancer occurs when a tumor develops in a woman’s ovary. And because there is no known cause and many times no symptoms, it is often detected in more advanced stages and more fatal than other gynecological cancers. Although Pap smears are not meant to prevent or detect uterine and ovarian cancers, an annual gynecologic exam is still very important because abnormalities could lead to further testing. Depending on the symptoms, a biopsy, ultrasound or additional tests could be ordered.