Gynecologic cancer is a group of cancers that affect the tissue and organs of the female reproductive system. Because each type of gynecological cancer is unique, we feel it’s important that you have as much information as possible. Understanding more about your specific condition and the different types of gynecologic cancers can help you better navigate your gynecologic cancer journey.
While there are six main types of gynecologic cancers, there are three that are more common than the others. We offer extensive information on each of the following types of female cancers:
Below is information regarding less common types of gynecological cancers.
Vaginal cancer is a rare cancer that begins in the vagina with two-thirds of the cases being caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). There are five primary types of cancers that form in the vagina that include:
Vulvar cancer usually forms slowly over years, most often on the vaginal lips or the sides of the vaginal opening. Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) causes about half of all vulvar cancers. The most common is squamous cell carcinoma, which usually develops on the labia and accounts for about 90% of vulvar cancers.
Other, less common vulvar cancers include melanoma, sarcoma, adenocarcinoma (starts in the Bartholin’s glands or vulvar sweat glands), and verrucous carcinoma, a slow-growing subtype of squamous cell carcinoma that resembles a wart.
Fallopian tube cancer is incredibly rare, accounting for only 1-2% of all gynecologic cancers. It typically forms in the cells that line the inside of the fallopian tubes, the two tiny ducts that connect the ovaries to the uterus.
The most common type of fallopian tube cancer is called adenocarcinoma (a cancer of cells from glands). Leiomyosarcoma (a cancer of smooth muscle cells) and transitional cell carcinoma (a cancer of the cells lining the fallopian tubes) are even more rare.
While some fallopian tube cancers actually begin in the tubes themselves, fallopian tube cancer is more often the result of cancer spreading from other parts of the body to the tubes.
Gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) is a general term for rare tumors that form from the tissues surrounding a fertilized egg. The most common type of GTD is a hydatidiform mole (HM), a slow-growing tumor that develops from trophoblastic cells (cells that help an embryo attach to the uterus and help form the placenta) after fertilization of an egg by a sperm.
The good news is that GTD is often found early and in most cases, cured.
In addition to treating and caring for women with cancers of the female reproductive organs, the gynecologic specialists at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers also specialize in pre-cancers and non-cancerous gynecologic conditions, as well as pregnancy-related tumors.
Most non-cancerous medical conditions of the female reproductive system are not serious and in many cases will resolve themselves or can be treated with medications.
There are times, however, that surgical intervention is needed. Below are some examples of gynecologic conditions that may require surgery.