1. TYPES: Cancers that occur in the women’s reproductive system are known as women’s reproductive or gynecologic cancers. The five main types of gynecologic cancer are: ovarian, uterine, cervical, vaginal, and vulvar. All women are at risk for gynecologic cancer.
2. BY THE NUMBERS: According to American Cancer Society, an estimated *88,750 new women’s reproductive cancer cases are expected in the United States in 2012, and 29,520 women are estimated to die from one of the types.
3. RISK FACTORS: Each type of gynecologic cancer has its own set of risk factors. Key risk factors are:
- Ovarian: strong family history of ovarian or breast cancer, never having children or use of infertility drugs, personal history of breast cancer, and obesity
- Uterine: obesity, estrogen or tamoxifen use, and family history of uterine or colon cancer
- Cervix/Vagina/Vulva: infection with high risk HPV, smoking, and compromised immune system
4. EARLY DETECTION: Beating gynecologic cancer is easiest when detected early. Learn about the risk factors, ways you can lower your risk, and how you can prevent or detect cancer as early as possible.
5. MOST COMMON: Uterine cancer is the most common type of gynecologic cancer. More than 47,000 new cases of uterine cancer are diagnosed every year, but the majority of diagnoses are treatable. UAB’s Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) is home to uterine cancer specialists who provide complete treatment, including minimally invasive surgery and infusion therapy.
6. CARE TEAM: UAB’s multidisciplinary team of specialty physicians, nurses, and consultants provide comprehensive, compassionate care for women with gynecologic cancers. Because our physicians are specialists in medical oncology, surgical oncology, and radiation oncology, you also can rest assured you’re also receiving the best care available.
7. AWARDS & RECOGNITION: UAB CCC’s Dr. Ronald Alvarez is the current president of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (a national medical specialty organization of physicians and allied health care professionals). And many of UAB’s gynecologic cancer specialists were named to the 2011 list of the Best Doctors in America.
UAB is recognized as a Magnet hospital, acknowledged for its nursing excellence,and is the only adult hospital in the state that holds Magnet certification. Patients receive care in the UAB Women & Infants Center , a facility dedicated to women. Winner of numerous design awards, the center was built with every need of the patient and her family in mind.
8. ROBOTICS: Gynecologic cancer is one of nine areas that UAB treats with advanced robotic surgery. We perform more cases of robotic surgery than anyone else in the area (more than 400 surgeries were performed in 2011). The Division of Gynecologic Oncology is one of the busiest academic robotic practices in the United States.
9. CLINICAL TRIALS: Patients at the UAB CCC have access to multiple gynecologic cancer clinical trials. UAB’s standing as an academic medical center brings some of the newest treatment options to patients.
10. RESOURCES: For more information on treatment of women’s cancers at UAB, visit uabmedicine.org/womenscancers. You will find detailed information about each diagnosis and various treatments available from our team of women’s cancers specialists.