Basic Information About Gynecologic Cancers

Knowledge Is Power: Gynecologic Cancer Symptoms

Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. When cancer starts in a woman’s reproductive organs, it is called gynecologic cancer. The five main types of gynecologic cancer are: cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar. (A sixth type of gynecologic cancer is the very rare fallopian tube cancer.)

Of all the gynecologic cancers, only cervical cancer has a screening test—the Pap test—that can find this cancer early, when treatment can be most effective. Since there is no simple and reliable way to screen for any gynecologic cancers except cervical cancer, it is especially important to recognize warning signs, and learn if there are things you can do to reduce your risk.

There are several ways to treat gynecologic cancer. The treatment depends on the type of cancer and how far it has spread.

Medical illustration of a woman’s reproductive system
Gynecologic cancer is any cancer that starts in a woman’s reproductive organs. There are five main types of gynecologic cancer.
Photo of a woman with abdominal pain
Signs and symptoms are not the same for everyone, and each gynecologic cancer has its own signs and symptoms.
Photo of a woman drinking coffee
It is important to recognize the warning signs of gynecologic cancer and learn if there are things you can do to lower your risk.
Photo of a woman receiving chemotherapy and her doctor
Gynecologic cancers are treated in several ways. It depends on the kind of cancer and how far it has spread.
Photo of family members having dinner together
A family history of breast, ovarian, uterine, and colorectal cancers can increase a woman’s risk for developing these cancers. Learn how to collect your family health history and what to do if cancer runs in your family.
Page last reviewed: February 13, 2017