Women of all ages are subject to a wide variety of cancers affecting the genital tract. Some cancers are related to age, genetic factors, or modifiable behavior. Some are amenable to screening, yet others remain elusive to early diagnosis. Some high-risk conditions require special work-up and management. Special issues such as sexuality and fertility require unique knowledge and care. Hackensack Meridian Health has long been on the forefront of the management of these conditions, and understands the unique challenges of women treated for cancer of the reproductive system.
Using state of the art technology, investigative tools, surgical techniques, and revolutionary medical management, our patients can be assured that they will always enjoy the best gynecologic cancer care.
These are the 3 main types of ovarian cancer. They include:
Epithelial carcinoma. This is by far the most common kind of ovarian tumor and makes up about 85– 90% of ovarian cancer cases. This tumor starts in the epithelium; the outer layer of cells in the ovaries.
Germ cell cancer. This rare type of ovarian cancer starts in the cells that form eggs in the ovary and almost always occurs in girls, teenagers, and very young women. It’s highly curable and can often be treated without affecting fertility.
Stromal cell cancer. This starts in the stromal cells. These cells make up the connective tissue which holds the ovaries together. They also make female hormones. This type of cancer is very rare.
Cancer that starts in cells of the cervix is called cervical cancer. Precancerous cells on the cervix are the first sign that cervical cancer may develop. These cells can be seen on a Pap test. They are cells that look abnormal, but are not yet cancer. The appearance of these cells may be the first sign of cancer that will grow years later. Treating these precancer cells can prevent cancer from growing. Precancer cells of the cervix often don’t cause pain or other symptoms. This is why regular cervical cancer screening is so important.
Uterine sarcoma is a type of cancer that starts in the muscular wall of the uterus. If uterine sarcoma spreads, it tends to first go to places near the uterus and can spread to the cervix, vagina, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and lymph nodes. In later stages, it can spread to the bladder, bowel, lungs, liver, or bone.
Uterine sarcoma acts differently in each woman. Even women who have the same type of uterine cancer, in the same stage, and who get the same treatment can have different results. Some women are cured but others may have cancer that spreads or comes back. Sometimes the cancer appears to recur or come back, because some of the initial cancer cells were left behind after surgery. These cells were not found in the first surgery because they were too small to be seen.