Whenever there is an uncontrollable or abnormal growth of cells of a particular area, the condition is known as cancer. Rapid cell growth leads to the development of tumors that can be benign or malignant. So, let us develop a deeper understanding of various genital cancers in females and their symptoms.
Cervix is a part of the female reproductive system that produces mucus helping sperms to travel into the uterus. Furthermore, it acts as a birth canal for the explosion of the baby. Cervical cancer occurs when healthy cells of the cervix divide uncontrollably and abnormally invading the genital area. The majority of the cases of cervical cancer are caused by sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HVP). Therefore, severe cervical cancer affects the cells of the vagina, ureters, and pelvic floor. HVP, chlamydia, obesity, consumption of birth control pills, family history of cervical cancer, and smoking are some of the factors of cervical cancer.
Symptoms Of Cervical Cancer
No signs and symptoms of cervical cancer are observed in the early stages. However, the following symptoms are visible after a certain period.
Pain in the pelvic area
Unusual bleeding that may occur after sex, menopause, or between menstruation
Unpleasant smelling vaginal discharge
Frequent urges to urinate
Pain and discomfort while urinating
The innermost lining of the uterus is known as the endometrium. Shedding of endometrium casting menstruation. Therefore, the cancer of the inner lining of the uterus is termed endometrial cancer. This type of cancer majorly affects the uterus and cervical canal. However, the cancerous cells spread to the urinary bladder, fallopian tubes, and nearby lymph nodes in severe cases. Hence, changes in hormonal levels, endometrial hyperplasia, diabetes, family history of endometrial cancer, and obesity are some of the risk factors governing endometrial cancer.
Hence, endometrial cancer is categorized into two types. Type 1 is non-aggressive and grows slowly. Type 2 endometrial cancer is aggressive and spreads to other parts of the reproductive tract.
Symptoms Of Endometrial Cancer
Vaginal bleeding and watery-discharge
Pain in abdomen and pelvis
Spotting between periods
Changes in length of periods
Changes in the heaviness of menstruation
Vaginal bleeding post menopause
Ovaries are a part of the female reproductive system that produce oocytes (female egg cells). Ovarian cancer occurs when healthy cells of the ovary divide uncontrollably and abnormally invading the genital area. A person is more likely to develop ovarian cancer if she has a history of ovarian, breast, uterine, and colorectal cancer. Hence, endometriosis, obesity, hormonal therapies, and genetic mutations are some of the risk factors associated with ovarian cancer.
Symptoms Of Ovarian Cancer
Frequent urges to urinate
Abnormal bloating and pain
Difficulty in eating
Dermatomyositis (skin rashes, inflammation of muscles, and muscular weakness)
Indigestion, fatigue, heartburn
Pain during sex
This type of cancer occurs when healthy cells of the vagina divide uncontrollably and abnormally invading the genital area. Females who had previously undergone hysterectomy are at a greater risk of developing vaginal cancer. Age (over 60), smoking, and HIV infection elevated the risk of vaginal cancer. Severe vaginal cancer can damage the cells and functioning of nearby parts such as the pelvis wall, urinary bladder, and rectum.
Symptoms Of Vaginal Cancer
Pain during coitus
Frequent urges to urinate
Pain while urinating
Fallopian Tube Cancer
The fallopian tube or oviduct connects the uterus to the ovaries. The condition in which there is an abnormal and uncontrollable growth of Fallopian tube cells is cancer of the fallopian tube. Hence, females without childbirth and those who didn’t breastfeed are at a greater risk of developing Fallopian tube cancer.
Symptoms Of Fallopian Tube Cancer
Unusual vaginal bleeding
White or pink-colored vaginal discharge
Pain in abdomen
Swelling and inflammation in the lower abdomen
The peritoneum helps to protect the bladder, uterus, intestines, and rectum. Peritoneal cancer develops due to cancer of the epithelial lining of the inner wall of the abdomen. There are two types of peritoneal cancer- primary and secondary.
So. primary peritoneal cancer affects the lining of epithelial cells. Secondary peritoneal cancer can begin in the fallopian tubes, bladder, ovaries, uterus, colon, or rectum which spreads to the peritoneum.
Symptoms Of Peritoneal Cancer
Indigestion and vomiting
Frequent vaginal discharge
Nausea, fatigue, and discomfort
To sum up, cancers that develop in the genital parts and glands of females are known as female-centric cancers. So, surgical procedures are performed depending on the type of cancer, stage of cancer, and age of the patient for treatment of genital cancers. Often, radiation therapies and chemotherapy also help treat female-centric cancers. The symptoms associated with cancer of genitals include the presence of a lump, vaginal discharge, pain during coitus, frequent urges to urinate, abnormal bleeding, and inflammation of the affected area.