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Cancers and Precancerous Conditions We Treat

female physicians review a chart together

We provide world-renowned gynecologic cancer care. In addition to our expertise in diagnosing and treating cancer, we provide a clinical to treat people at high-risk for ovarian, fallopian tube, uterine and other gynecologic cancers. This includes people with a personal or family history of premenopausal or male breast cancers, multiple family members with breast and ovarian cancer, multiple family members with either colon or uterine cancer, and those diagnosed with BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations, Lynch syndrome, endometrial hyperplasia or complex ovarian masses and borderline tumors. 

Gynecologic Cancers We Treat

Learn more about each condition:

  • Out of all gynecologic cancers, cervical cancer is the only one with a screening test, the Pap test (Pap smear). When found early, it is highly treatable. Nearly all cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV, a sexually transmitted disease. An HPV infection can cause the cells of the cervix to change and grow, a condition known as cervical dysplasia, which is precancerous. Cervical cancer is also preventable with the HPV vaccine.

  • Endometrial cancer is the most commonly diagnosed gynecologic cancer. About 50,000 American women are diagnosed with the disease every year. Endometrial cancer is also the most common form of uterine cancer, so it is frequently referred to as uterine cancer.
  • Primary peritoneal cancer, also known as extra ovarian primary peritoneal carcinoma or EOPPC, is a cancer of the tissue that lines the abdomen (belly). This tissue is known as the peritoneum. Primary peritoneal cancer is closely related to fallopian tube and ovarian cancers. Fallopian tube cancer develops when there are abnormal changes in the cells of one or both fallopian tubes.

    Primary peritoneal cancer and fallopian tube cancer are both very rare. These two gynecologic cancers share many characteristics with ovarian cancer. Primary peritoneal cancer is also known as EOPPC. EOPPC develops in the cells lining the abdomen, while fallopian tube cancer begins in the cells of the fallopian tube. Symptoms of EOPPC and fallopian tube cancer include abnormal vaginal bleeding, pain in the pelvic area and gastrointestinal discomfort (gas, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, etc.).

  • Gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) is the term given to a group of rare tumors that develop during the early stages of pregnancy. After conception, a woman’s body prepares for pregnancy by surrounding the newly fertilized egg or embryo with a layer of cells called the trophoblast. The trophoblast helps the embryo implant itself to the uterine wall. These cells also form a large part of the tissue that make up the placenta — the organ that supplies nutrients to a developing fetus. In GTD, there are abnormal changes in the trophoblast cells that cause tumors to develop.
  • Ovarian cancer is a disease in which cancer starts in the cells of the ovary. There are three types of ovarian tumors, each named for the tissue in which they are found: epithelial cell tumors, germ cell tumors, and stromal cell tumors.

  • Uterine sarcoma or endometrial cancer is the most commonly diagnosed gynecologic cancer. About 50,000 American women are diagnosed with the disease every year. Endometrial cancer is also the most common form of uterine cancer, so it is frequently referred to as uterine cancer.
  • Cancer of the vagina, a rare kind of cancer in women, is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells are found in the tissues of the vagina. There are several types of cancer of the vagina. The two most common are squamous cell cancer (squamous carcinoma), most often found in women older than 60 and accounts for about 70 percent of all vaginal cancers and adenocarcinoma, more often found in women older than 50 and accounts for about 15 percent of all vaginal cancers.

  • Vulvar cancer can occur on any part of the external organs but most often affects the labia majora or labia minora. Cancer of the vulva is a rare disease, accounting for 0.6 percent of all cancers in women, and it may form slowly over many years. Most vulvar cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. Melanoma is another common type of vulvar cancer that is usually found in the labia minora or clitoris.
  • Our Center for Rare Gynecologic Cancers cares for patients with uncommon tumor types through cutting-edge treatments and groundbreaking clinical trials.

Precancerous Conditions We Manage

Learn more about each condition:

  • Everyone has two types of breast cancer (“BRCA”) genes in every cell of their body. When functioning properly, BRCA1 and BRCA2 repair DNA, keep other genes healthy, and prevent cancerous changes in the cells. When a mutation damages either of these genes, the person’s risk of cancer increases. Inheriting damaged copies of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes can increase the risk for breast cancer and ovarian cancer in women and the risk for breast and prostate cancer in men, as well as other cancers.

  • Cervical dysplasia is a precancerous condition in which abnormal changes occur in the cells of the cervix. If left untreated, cervical dysplasia can cause cervical cancer.

    The cervix is the lower narrow part of the uterus (womb) that opens into the vagina. An HPV infection can cause the cells of the cervix to change and grow, which is known as cervical dysplasia — a precancerous condition. HPV infection and cervical dysplasia typically do not cause any noticeable symptoms. Doctors use findings from routine gynecological visits and the Pap test (Pap smear) to diagnose cervical dysplasia. Treatment for cervical dysplasia depends on the amount of cell changes in the cervix.

  • An ovarian cyst or borderline tumor can develop for different reasons. A complex cyst may have solid areas, bumps on the surface, or several areas filled with fluid. This type of cyst may cause blood loss that causes low blood pressure or fast heart rate, fever, or signs of possible cancer.

  • Endometrial hyperplasia is an irregular thickening of the uterine lining that may increase a woman’s risk of developing endometrial cancer.

  • Also known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) syndrome, Lynch syndrome was first described more than 100 years ago. It is the most common of the recognized inherited colon and rectal cancer syndromes.

Advanced Benign Gynecologic Conditions

People with noncancerous gynecologic conditions also turn to the Kelly Gynecologic Oncology Service for comprehensive care. Our surgical expertise has brought relief for many patients suffering from benign pelvic masses, advanced stage 4 endometriosis and complex fibroids. We treat people who may be high-risk surgical candidates, including those who have had previous abdominal surgeries and those who are morbidly obese.

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