Cancer remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide. With the
emergence of new types of cancer and increase in number of new cases of
cancer in the world, it’s been predicted that by 2020 the death toll due to
cancer will increase to 12 million. In the recent past, it has been noticed
that gynecological cancers are affecting women worldwide and in India.
These cancers originate and affect reproductive organs such as Cervix,
ovary, uterus, vagina and vulva. Due to limited knowledge amongst youth
& women worldwide, these cancers are usually termed as “Silent
killers”, women are often unaware of the signs and symptoms associated with
these cancers and do not catch them until it is too late.
Warning signs for female gynecologic cancers include unusual vaginal
bleeding, pelvic pain or pressure, frequent or urgent need to urinate, loss
of appetite, constipation, bloating, abdominal or back pain, changes in the
external genital area like skin colour, rashes, sores and warts.
Unfortunately, screening tests (PAP smear, HPV testing, VIA/VILI) are
available only for cervical cancer. For other gynecologic cancers, the only
way is to recognize the early warning sign is by consulting a gynecologic
As we are aware, that the key to prevent complications related to cancer,
is early detection and hence consultation with a gynecologic oncologist
becomes important for females who have multiple risk factors such as
obesity, being HIV positive, women who have never conceived or someone who
has had multiple sexual partners or significant family history of cancer.
It has been studied in the past that Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most
common viral infection of the reproductive tract that could lead to
cancerous cells. However, a vaccine is now available that can be given to
young females preferably in their teens.
Gynecological cancer treatment is witnessing paradigm shift from
conventional treatment protocols and surgeries to tailored approach for
Some of the cancers originating in the reproductive organs can now be
managed by conservative surgeries (Organ preserving surgeries such as
uterus or ovarian preservation depending on the type pf cancers) eg.
Thus, it is important to consult a gynecologic oncologist while dealing
with any kind of cancers in females.