Gynecologic cancers are tumors that start in a woman’s reproductive organs. Five main types of cancer affect a woman’s reproductive organs and they are named from the organ where they develop: cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar. Each gynecologic cancer is unique, with different signs and symptoms, different risk factors (things that may increase your chance of getting a disease), and different prevention strategies.
Ovarian cancer causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. When ovarian cancer is found in its early stages, treatment is most effective. The majority of ovarian cancer cases, however, are not diagnosed until it has spread to other organs at which time 5 year survival is less than 30 percent. Unfortunately, there aren’t very good screening methods for ovarian cancer, so preventing it is a particularly important challenge.
Feinstein Institute researchers are making great progress in identifying new ways to detect ovarian cancer at an early stage and are discovering tools that will help develop new treatments for ovarian cancer.