Cancer is a condition where cells in a specific part of the body grow and reproduce uncontrollably. The cancerous cells can invade and destroy surrounding healthy tissue, including organs. Cancer sometimes begins in one part of the body before spreading to other areas. This process is known as metastasis.
Gynaecological cancer occurs in the reproductive organs. Gynaecological cancers are less common than breast cancer, but unfortunately many of the early symptoms can often be missed, causing a late diagnosis and a delay in treatment. The treatment of all cancers has a much greater chance of success if it is started as early as possible.
The most common symptom is unusual bleeding. Bleeding at any time, other than your expected monthly period, is considered to be unusual.
This includes bleeding after the menopause (when a woman’s monthly periods stop).
It is very important for you to be aware of changes in your body and of the symptoms which should prompt a visit to a GP, even if they seem minor or embarrassing.
The following information provides an overview of the four most common gynaecological cancers, symptoms to look out for and possible treatments. You will also find links to research funded by Wellbeing of Women, expert interviews, other women’s stories and common myths.
Page last updated January 2013