Cancerous tumours can be of two types – benign and malignant. While benign cancers are harmless and do not require treatment, malignant tumours need care for their removal from the human body. Greater awareness about gynaecological cancers and their probable symptoms will help people to widen their knowledge about cancers.

 

The following are some common and rare types of gynaecological cancer:

 

Cervical cancer

 

Cervical cancer is one of the most common types of cancer affecting women, second only to breast cancer. The tumour develops in the tissues of the cervix, which is the lowermost narrow-end of the uterus. When a medical oncologist suspects the presence of a tumour in the cervix, he recommends a screening test, called the Pap smear, in which the sample of cells is taken from the cervix for diagnosis. Another recommended diagnostic method is the HPV (Human Papillomavirus) screening test for diagnosing the presence of high-risk HPV strains, which may be the reason for the growth of the cancerous tumour in the cervix.

 

Common symptoms of cervical cancer are unusual vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding, bleeding after sexual intercourse, and back and pelvic pain. However, the occurrence of these symptoms does not necessarily indicate at cervical cancer. Women who have multiple sexual partners, had sexual intercourse at an early age, smoke cigarettes or have a weak immune system may also be prone to suffering from these symptoms. If the tests show at the presence of malignant tumour in the cervix and indicate at the necessity for other forms of treatment besides chemotherapy, a patient can approach Dr. Amish Dalal for further advice.

 

Uterine or Endometrial Cancer

 

The lining of the uterus is referred to as the ‘endometrium’. Endometrial cancer usually occurs among women over 55 years of age. The common symptoms for cancer in the endometrium are abnormal discharge or bleeding, pain or difficulty in urinating, pain during sexual intercourse and pelvic pain. Women suffering from diabetes or obesity, or have a family history of Lynch Syndrome are believed to be at a higher risk of developing endometrial cancer. Dr. Amish V Dalal, a Surgical Oncologist with more than 30 years of experience, guides his patients on the necessity for further treatment.

Ovarian Cancer

As the name suggests, this cancer develops in the ovaries, the organ that produces female hormones and eggs. The tumour may also develop in the fallopian tube. The accompanying symptoms may be abdominal swelling and pain. Though there are no medical tests for effective diagnosis of ovarian cancer, patients need to undergo a physical examination by a health care professional. These diagnostic procedures may include physical examination of the reproductive organs, along with ultrasound, biopsy, blood tests or a CT scan. If the tests indicate at the necessity for parallel treatment, along with chemotherapy, Doctor Amish Dalal analyses his patients’ medical tests and recommends treatment accordingly.

Some of the most common risk factors are usually considered to be the presence of a family history of cancers in the breast, ovary and pancreas. Other factors for the growth of ovarian cancer may be intake of fertility drugs or hormone replacement therapy, infertility and the late onset of menopause.

Vaginal Cancer

There are two recognised types of cancer in the vagina – Squamous cell carcinoma and Adenocarcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma is the more common out of the two. It manifests itself by the growth of tumour in the vagina and then may subsequently spread to other parts of the body like liver, lungs and bones. Adenocarcinoma, on the other hand, is formed in the glandular cells lining the vagina and usually shows a greater possibility of spreading to the lymph nodes and the lungs. This rare type of cancer usually affects women over the age of 60 and may grow in individuals who have undergone a hysterectomy or have contracted HPV. The common symptoms may be constipation, pelvic pain, unusual discharge or bleeding, vaginal lump, pain during sexual intercourse or pain during urination. A Pap smear test, biopsy and pelvic exam, among other tests may be recommended for detecting the presence of a cancer tumour. Amish Dalal reviews and thoroughly analyses the present medical condition of his patients before recommending the way forward.

Vulvar Cancer

This rare type of cancer develops in the external genitalia, with the most common area being the outer vaginal lip. It occurs when abnormal cells slowly grow on the vulvar skin. This condition is referred to as Vulvar Intraepithelial Neoplasia (VIN). A family history of genital warts and contraction of HPV may be some risk factors for the growth of vulvar cancer tumours. Some common symptoms are considered to be itching, unusual growth on the outer vagina, and abnormal bleeding and tenderness. Amish Dalal, an accomplished Gynaecologist, determines how his patients are responding to the current line of treatment and decide on the next course of action accordingly.

 

Patients diagnosed with cancer can book an appointment with Amish Dalal at Jaslok Hospital, Breach Candy Hospital, Bhatia General Hospital, Saifee Hospital or Parsee General Hospital.

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