Women's

Cancers in the female reproductive system are referred to as gynaecological cancers. These include cervical, ovarian, womb, vaginal, and vulval cancers.

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer develops in the cervix, the entrance to the womb from the vagina. It mainly affects sexually active women aged 30-45, but can develop in all ages.

Symptoms

  • There are often no symptoms in the early stage of cervical cancer. That is why it is important to attend regular screening.
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding, in between periods or after sex
  • New bleeding after going through the menopause
  • Smelly discharge and discomfort during sex
  • Pain between your hips

Unusual bleeding does not mean you have cervical cancer, but you should see your GP if you have any of these symptoms.

Treatment

The type of treatment you receive will depend on the location and stage of your cancer. The main treatments include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Chemoradiotherapy

Your treatment plan may have a combination of these.

Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer, or cancer of the ovaries, is one of the most common types of cancer in women. It mainly affects women who have been through the menopause (usually over 50), but can affect any age.

Symptoms

  • Feeling full quickly when eating or loss of appetite
  • Constantly feeling bloated
  • Swollen tummy
  • Discomfort in your tummy or pelvis
  • Needing to pee more often

These symptoms can often be caused by various other conditions. You should see your GP if you are worried about any of these symptoms.

Treatment

The type of treatment you receive will depend on the location and stage of your cancer. The main treatments include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Targeted cancer drugs

Your treatment plan may have a combination of these.

Womb Cancer

Cancer of the womb (uterine or endometrial cancer) is a common cancer that affects the female reproductive system. It mainly affects women who have been through the menopause (usually over 50), but can affect any age.

Symptoms

  • Unusual vaginal bleeding, in between periods or after sex
  • New bleeding after going through the menopause
  • Vaginal discharge – from pink and watery to dark and foul smelling

Unusual bleeding does not mean you have cancer, but you should see your GP if you have any of these symptoms.

Treatment

The type of treatment you receive will depend on the location and stage of your cancer. The main treatments include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy

Your treatment plan may have a combination of these.

Vaginal Cancer

Vaginal cancer is a rare form of cancer, it is more common in older women.

Symptoms

  • New bleeding after going through the menopause
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding, in between periods or after sex
  • Pain during sex
  • Vaginal discharge – smelly or blood-stained
  • A lump or mass in or at the entrance to the vagina
  • An itch that won’t go
  • Needing to pee a lot, or pain when peeing

If you have any of these symptoms it is most likely an infection and not vaginal cancer. You should still see your GP if you have any of these symptoms.

Treatment

The type of treatment you receive will depend on the location and stage of your cancer. The main treatments include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Laser treatment

Your treatment plan may have a combination of these.

Vulval Cancer

Vulval cancer is a rare form of cancer, it is more common in older women. The vulva includes the lips surrounding the vagina, the clitoris and the Bartholin glands (2 small glands either side of the vagina).

Symptoms

  • Pain, soreness or tenderness in the vulva
  • An itch that won’t go
  • Raised or thickened patches of skin that can be red, white or dark
  • A lump, or wart like growth, on the vulva
  • An open sore on the vulva
  • A mole on the vulva that changes shape or colour
  • Bleeding from the vulva
  • Blood-stained vaginal discharge between periods
  • Burning pain when peeing
  • New bleeding after going through the menopause

If you have any of these symptoms or notice a changes to your vulva speak to your GP. It is highly unlikely you will have vulval cancer but these symptoms should be investigated.

Treatment

The type of treatment you receive will depend on the location and stage of your cancer. The main treatments include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy

Your treatment plan may have a combination of these.

Support and more information available

NHS

Cervical cancer
Ovarian cancer
Womb cancer
Vaginal cancer
Vulval cancer

Cancer Research UK

Cervical cancer
Ovarian cancer
Womb cancer
Vaginal cancer
Vulval cancer

Macmillan

Cervical cancer
Ovarian cancer
Womb cancer
Vaginal cancer
Vulval cancer

 

British Gynaecological Cancer Society

Eve Appeal

Go Girls

Grace Charity

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

Ovacome

Target Ovarian Cancer