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Symptoms and Signs of Gynecologic Cancers

Gynecologic Cancer SymptomsThe symptoms of gynecologic cancers—namely cervical, uterine, ovarian, vaginal, vulvar, and fallopian tube cancers—can vary. And while these types of gynecologic cancers are relatively uncommon compared to other cancer types, it’s important for all women to be aware of the symptoms. Recognizing these signs and seeing a medical professional early on can help prevent cancer or more effectively treat it.

What to Watch For

Each type of gynecologic cancer has different warning signs, but there are a few main symptoms you should be on the lookout for:

Unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge

Symptoms that could signal uterine or cervical cancer include:

  • Spotting between your regular period
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Bleeding after you’ve gone through menopause

Pain in the pelvic area or abdomen

Ovarian or endometrial cancer can result in pain caused by:

  • Gas
  • Indigestion
  • Cramps
  • Constant pressure

Changes in bathroom habits

Gynecologic cancers could put pressure on your bladder or colon, resulting in:

  • Frequent urination
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

Edema or Swelling

Excess fluid in your abdominal cavity can cause bloating or swelling and could be a sign of ovarian cancer, among other cancers. Symptoms can include:

  • Being bloated for one or two weeks
  • Bloating that occurs with abnormal bleeding or weight loss

Signs of HPV

While human papillomavirus (HPV) is not a cancer, it is a common cause of gynecologic cancers, largely uterine, vaginal and vulvar. Unfortunately, HPV infection and the early stages of cervical cancer often do not display symptoms. But someone with HPV might develop genital warts, or even warts in other areas of the body, such as the face, hands and feet, which could be an indication of infection.

Despite the lack of symptoms, both HPV and the potential for cervical cancer can be detected at an early stage with regular well-woman exams and Pap smears.

Gynecologic Cancer Treatment at Tampa General Hospital

Tampa General Hospital’s multidisciplinary gynecology oncology team is dedicated to helping patients identify symptoms of and properly diagnose gynecologic cancer. From there, a comprehensive treatment plan is developed to address each patient’s unique needs. We offer genetic counseling, palliative medicine, and even state-of-the-art treatments, including hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC).

Our team consists of nationally recognized experts in the field who take part in clinical trials and publish regularly, keeping us at the forefront of advances in gynecologic cancer treatment. At TGH, we don’t just practice medicine, we define it.

If you have been diagnosed with a type of gynecologic cancer, are experiencing symptoms or need a second opinion, please contact the TGH Cancer Insitute at (813) 844-2200 to schedule an appointment. Appointments are available Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.