Gynecologic cancer occurs when abnormal cell growth starts in a woman's reproductive organs. According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer.

If you or someone you know has gynecologic cancer, we believe combining an integrative approach with innovative treatments is the best way to achieve successful outcomes. We offer comprehensive care and medical/surgical management of complex gynecological conditions.


Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be life-changing. Having a reliable and trusted healthcare provider in the community for personalized treatment and support can be helpful as you navigate your healthcare journey.

What Is Gynecologic Oncology?

Gynecologic oncology is a specialized field of medicine that focuses on treating and managing cancers of the cervix, ovaries, uterus, vagina and vulva. A gynecologic oncologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancers that affect a woman's reproductive organs.

Gynecologic oncologists work with a multidisciplinary medical care team, which includes:

  • Surgeons – are doctors who perform operations
  • Medical oncologists – are doctors who treat cancer with medicine
  • Radiation oncologists – are doctors who treat cancer with radiation

What Are the Five Gynecological Cancers?

  • Cervical Cancer – begins in the cervix, the lower, narrow end of the uterus that opens into the vagina. Cervical cancer usually has no symptoms until the cells turn cancerous and begin spreading to the deepest parts of the cervix or other pelvic organs. Symptoms may include vaginal discharge, abnormal vaginal bleeding, vaginal odor and pain.
  • Ovarian Cancer – begins in the ovaries, which are located on both sides of the uterus and can sometimes start in the fallopian tubes or peritoneum. Ovarian cancer is the seventh most common cancer among women. Ovarian cancer symptoms are bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain and difficulty eating or feeling full quickly.
  • Uterine/Endometrial Cancer – begins in the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium. The uterus is where the baby grows during pregnancy. Abnormal vaginal bleeding is the most common sign of uterine or endometrial cancer.
  • Vaginal Cancer – begins in the vagina, also known as the birth canal, that connects the outer genitalia to the uterus. Vaginal cancer mostly affect women between the ages of 50-70 years old. Signs of advanced vaginal cancer include unusual vaginal bleeding, pain, problems with urination or bowel movements, watery vaginal discharge or lump or mass in the vagina.
  • Vulvar Cancer – begins in the vulva, the outer part of the female genital organs, which includes the inner and outer lips of the vagina, the clitoris and the opening of the vagina and its glands. Early symptoms of vulvar cancer include itching that won't go away, skin that appears lighter or darker than usual, or a bump or lump that can be wartlike or raw. Vulvar cancer may also cause pain or burning, bleeding or discharge unrelated to a woman's normal menstrual period or an open sore that has lasted for months or more. Some women also report having cauliflower-like growths similar to genital warts or ulcers in the genital area.

Only cervical cancer has screening tests that can catch cancer in its early stages when treatment can be most effective. The Pap test/Pap smear and the HPV test can help prevent and find cervical cancer early. That's why it's important to recognize the warning signs of other cancers that affect women and identify risk factors to reduce the chances of developing gynecologic cancer.

If you're experiencing pain or discomfort related to a gynecologic condition, have been recently diagnosed, or know someone who has, Tenet Health Central Coast Primary and Specialty Care is your destination for women's health services in the Central Coast. Our goal is to help you achieve better health for life. To learn more about our comprehensive portfolio of gynecologic services and vast network of healthcare providers, please call 805-316-3733.


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