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There are different types of gynaecological cancer and the symptoms for these can be very general so if you notice any of these you need to see your GP. Please note these symptoms may be due to other conditions and do not always mean you have cancer.
Eve appeal website
From signs and symptoms to risk factors, diagnosis and treatment, the Eve Appeal website has a whole host of information about all five gynaecological cancers
Every year, approximately 6,800 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Symptoms can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Reduced appetite
- Altered bowel habits
- Weight loss.
Occasionally other symptoms such as urinary symptoms, extreme fatigue or back pain may also be experienced on their own or at the same time as those listed above. In some rare cases, abnormal vaginal bleeding can also be experienced.
It is important to remember that if you experience these symptoms, then it does not necessarily mean you have ovarian cancer. It is worth mentioning to your GP if these are persistent symptoms that you would like to rule the possibility of ovarian cancer out by being referred to one of specialist consultants.
Endometrial (womb) cancer
The most common symptom of womb cancer is abnormal bleeding from the vagina. This is particularly common in women who have been through the menopause and stopped having periods. Irregular bleeding can include:
- Vaginal bleeding after the menopause
- Bleeding that is unusually heavy or happens between periods
- Vaginal discharge – from pink and watery to dark and foul-smelling
Some women can experience pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen and pain during sex (intercourse); however these symptoms are less common. When visiting your GP, or one of our specialists, they may also feel that your womb is enlarged and feels swollen.Peaches Womb Cancer Trust
The most common symptom of cervical cancer is bleeding from the vagina at times other than during your period. It may be the bleeding occurs between periods, after or during sex or even if you are past the menopause. An offensive vaginal discharge and discomfort or pains during sex/intercourse are also key symptoms to look out for.
Often abnormal cells are identified through a cervical smear. If any changes are detected, you will be asked to attend for a colposcopy appointment.
It is important to regularly attend for cervical smears as the earlier that abnormal cells are treated, the less likely they are to develop into cancer cells. It is also much easier to treat cervical cancer if it is caught early. It is also important to remember that there are many other conditions that can cause these symptoms and it does not necessarily mean you have cervical cancer, but it is advisable to see your GP for a referral as soon as possible.
It is important to recognise what is normal for you and if you notice any abnormal changes, then seek advice from your GP as soon as possible, which will in turn be able to refer you for further investigations from our specialist team. The earlier symptoms are dealt with the higher the success rate the treatment has.
If you have been to your GP with any of the symptoms listed, they will probably undertake some blood tests, and sometimes an ultrasound scan and possibly vaginal examination. You may be referred using a process called ‘two-week wait’ or ‘fast track’, and your GP will explain to you that they are referring for suspected cancer. This is faxed through to us to arrange an appointment within two weeks of receiving this letter. This is quick so that if you do not have cancer this can be ruled out as quickly as possible.
Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital: 03033 306536
Scunthorpe General Hospital:
Goole and District Hospital: 01724 290419