Women's cancers (gynaecological cancer)
Cancers that start in a woman's reproductive system are called gynaecological cancers. The treatment you need depends on where the cancer started. Knowing the type of cancer means you can get the correct information about it.
Ask your doctor to advise you if you aren't sure which type you need information about.
Being diagnosed with cancer, and the treatment that follows, can be a very difficult thing to cope with. The support of family, friends, healthcare professionals and other people who have had a similar experience can be hugely helpful during this time.
‘Gynaecological cancer’ refers to the five cancers that start in a woman’s reproductive system namely Cervical cancer, Ovarian cancer, Vaginal cancer, Vulval cancer, Womb cancer (also known as endometrial or uterine cancer)
Cervical cancer develops from the tissues of the cervix. It is also called cancer of the uterine cervix. It is the third most commonly diagnosed gynaecological cancer in Australian women.
The cervix is part of the female reproductive system, which also includes the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, vagina and vulva. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. It is sometimes called the neck of the uterus.
Functions of the cervix include:
producing some of the moistness that lubricates the vagina
producing the mucus that helps sperm travel up to the fallopian tube to fertilise an egg from the ovary
holding a developing baby in the uterus during pregnancy. During childbirth, the cervix widens to allow the baby to pass down into the birth canal (vagina).
The cervix is covered by 2 kinds of cells: squamous and glandular. Squamous cells are flat, thin cells found in the outer layer of the cervix (ectocervix). Glandular cells are found in the cervical canal (endocervix). The point where these 2 cells meet is called the squamocolumnar junction. This is where cervical cancer starts.
Cervical cancer stages
Ovarian cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the ovary, fallopian tube or peritoneum grow in an uncontrolled way.
The ovaries are a pair of organs in the female reproductive system, located on each side of the uterus. They produce eggs and hormones.
Ovarian cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body to form secondary cancers, in a process called metastasis.
To evaluate the extent of a patient’s cancer using three key factors:
T (Tumor) This indicates the extent of the tumor. Is it confined to the ovaries or fallopian tube or has it reached the uterus, bladder, or other nearby pelvic organs?
N (Node) Has the cancer spread to nearby lymph nodes in the pelvis or the para-aortic lymph nodes around the aorta (the body’s main artery that runs from the heart down behind the abdomen and pelvis)?
M (Metastasis) Has the cancer spread to the fluid around the lungs or to distant organs or tissues, like the liver?
Doctors also add a number or letter to each T, N, or M assessment to provide additional detail. Typically, the higher the number, the more advanced the cancer.
A calculation that combines the T, N, and M ratings ultimately leads to an overall stage.
Fallopian tube cancer and primary peritoneal cancer (cancer in the thin layer of tissue that lines the abdomen) are closely related to ovarian cancer
Endometrial cancer (also referred to as uterine or womb)
Womb cancer is sometimes called uterine cancer by doctors as uterus is the medical name for the womb. Or they may call it endometrial cancer. The endometrium is the lining of the womb. Endometrial cancer is the most common type of womb cancer.
Endometrial cancer is cancer that arises from the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium). It is the most common type of cancer of the uterus, and the most common gynaecological cancer diagnosed Indian women.
There is separate information about the other main type of cancer of the uterus, called uterine sarcoma. If you have been told you have ‘cancer of the uterus’, ‘cancer of the womb’ or ‘uterine cancer’, and you are not sure if it is endometrial cancer or uterine sarcoma, check with your doctor.
Uterine cancer is the abnormal (malignant) growth of any cells that comprise uterine tissue. The buildup of cancer cells may form a mass (malignant tumor). Non-cancer cells that form a mass are termed benign tumors.
Although the exact causes of uterine cancers are not known, risk factors include women with endometrial overgrowth (hyperplasia), obesity, women who have never had children, menses beginning before age 12, menopause after age 55, estrogen therapy, taking tamoxifen, radiation to the pelvis, family history of uterine cancer, and Lynch syndrome (most commonly seen as a form of inherited colorectal cancer). Common signs and symptoms of uterine cancer are ;
abnormal vaginal bleeding (most common symptom),
pain with urination and/or sex, and
Uterine cancer is diagnosed usually with a pelvic exam, Pap test, ultrasound, and biopsy. Occasionally, CT or MRI may be done to help confirm the diagnosis.
Uterine cancer stages (0 to IV) are determined by biopsy, chest X-ray, and/or CT or MRI scans. Treatment options may include one or more of the following: surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy. Treatment depends on the uterine cancer stage, your age, and general health with uterine cancer stage IV as the most extensive and usually caused by the most aggressive type of cancer cells. You and your doctors can decide what treatment plan is best for you.
Surgical therapy usually involves removal of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, adjacent lymph nodes, and part of the vagina. Radiation therapy may be by external radiation or by internal radiation (brachytherapy).
Fallopian tube cancer
Fallopian tube cancer is a cancer that arises from one or both of the fallopian tubes.
The fallopian tubes are the tubular structures that connect the upper, outermost part of the uterus with the ovary, and provide a means for fertilisation of the female egg.
In women of reproductive age, an egg is released from one of the ovaries into the adjacent fallopian tube once each month during ovulation.
The tube helps to move the egg along its journey to the uterus with small hair-like projections called cilia, which line the tube’s insides.
In the uterus (also called the womb), the egg is either fertilised by male sperm or discarded during menstruation.
Vaginal cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the tissues of the vagina grow in an uncontrolled way.
The vagina is a muscular tube that extends from the opening of the uterus (called the cervix) to the external part of a woman’s sex organs (the vulva). The vagina is also called the birth canal. The uterus is also called the womb.
The vagina is the passageway through which menstrual blood flows, sexual intercourse occurs, and a baby is born.
Vulval cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the tissues of the vulva grow in an uncontrolled way. It can also be called cancer of the vulva, vulva cancer or vulvar cancer.
The vulva is the external part of a woman’s sex organs.
It consists of soft fatty tissue covered with pubic hair called the Mons Pubis (Mount of Venus), which is above the labia. The labia have two outer larger lips (the labia majora), which surround two inner smaller and thinner lips (the labia minora).
At the top, where the labia minora join, is a highly sensitive organ called the clitoris. When stimulated, the clitoris fills with blood and enlarges in size. Stimulation of the clitoris can result in sexual excitement and orgasm, or climax.
Just below the clitoris is the opening through which women pass urine (the urethra), and below this is the vagina, a tubular passage through which menstrual blood flows, sexual intercourse occurs and a baby is born.
The area of the skin between the vulva and anus is called the perineum. All these structures are visible from outside the body.
Cancer of the vulva may involve any of the external female sex organs. The most common areas for it to develop are the inner edges of the labia majora and the labia minora.
Less often, vulval cancer may also involve the clitoris or the Bartholin’s glands (small glands, one on each side of the vagina). It can also affect the perineum
Fathima hospital, backed by specialists from multiple disciplines, specialises in handling high risk pregnancies. It is important to note that women, who are diagnosed with high-risk issues, mostly go on to have a normal pregnancy and a healthy delivery.
Fathima hospital offers pain relief programs that are globally applied to ease pain during labour. There are a number of options to ensure painless delivery, many of which pregnant women here are not aware of.
Fetal medicine focuses on the care of pregnant women where there is a need to monitor the health and wellbeing of the unborn child (fetus). This includes monitoring the rate of the baby’s growth, as well as diagnosing and managing fetal disorders and abnormalities using both invasive and non-invasive methods.
Our specialized fertility experts are highly experienced, and their technology and strict processes ensure high success rates. IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) is a type of assisted reproductive technology which involves a series of procedures to treat fertility and assist with the conception of child.
Fathima Hospital has customized Antenatal programmes designed to make you feel safe, good and happy, these programmes educate you on the process of childbirth and the different stages of labour - in all, encouraging natural birthing as much as possible.
Postnatal exercises are important for you. They help you regain the strength of your abdominal muscles and help prevent lower back injury and other complications like abdominal organs from "drooping forward" due to lack of support. They also help you regain a flat stomach.
Our OB/GYN surgeons offer a variety of traditional and minimally invasive surgical procedures: Tubal ligation, removal of ovarian cysts, fibroids, growths from the cervix, Removal of the uterus (hysterectomy), ovaries, Hysteroscopy etc.
Fetal medicine, which is an extension of the branch of Ultrasonography, treats the fetus as a patient in utero for any problems it might have. It comprises of Fetal scanning, Procedures such as Amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling, and cord blood sampling, Screening tests and interpretation of the results.
When it comes to your little one’s health, you need to be extra sure. Hence, you want to know all the whys and when of vaccinations to be administered to your child from the time of birth. Keeping that in mind, we hand you over a vaccination schedule for your baby with all the mandatory and optional vaccines prescribed from the time of birth.
Each pregnancy is unique and you have the right to be involved in all decisions affecting you and your baby. A good relationship with your maternity care provider can make a big difference in planning your pregnancy care. At Fathima hospital, Department of Obstetrics includes a team of expert gynaecologists, foetal medicine Specialist, physiotherapists, and trained and experienced nursing staff. Our hospital is equipped with advanced neonatal care team supported by state-of-the-art NICU infrastructure to ensure that complex and high-risk pregnancies can be managed including extremely premature birthings.
At Fathima Hospital, we provide comprehensive consultations, lab testing, ultrasound scan to provide the best possible care during your 1st Trimister to 3rd Trimister. A typical pregnancy lasts 40 weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP) to the birth of the baby. It is divided into three stages, called trimesters: first trimester, second trimester, and third trimester. The fetus undergoes many changes throughout maturation. A woman will experience many changes during the pregnancy like morning sickness, or nausea and vomiting due to pregnancy, at 6–8 weeks. A pregnant woman might also feel very tired and notice that she is more emotional than usual due to hormonal changes.
Types of Delivery
Few things in life are more exciting than the birth of a new baby. This has been the case throughout human history, but childbirth options for new mothers have advanced to make the experience more safe. Fathima hospital offers comfortable maternity suites that convert into state of the art delivery rooms. An easy birth and a perfectly executed birth plan is ideal. But we know that even the most carefully planned birth can take twists and turns. In those cases, it's important to be prepared for alternative delivery methods.
A range of tests is available if you are pregnant. These tests can confirm your pregnancy and also monitor your baby’s development in the womb. Regular check-ups with your gynecologist, fetal medicine specislists are an important part of pregnancy care, including information and advice about what tests you and your baby will need. Checking the general health of the mother and baby, the different kinds of tests available to pregnant women include: tests to confirm pregnancy, maternal health screening, routine screening tests (these tell you how likely it is that your baby has a certain health condition), diagnostic tests – for pregnancies at increased risk (these tell you more accurately if your baby has a certain health condition).
Complications can arise in pregnancies for many reasons. Sometimes a woman’s existing health conditions contribute to problems. Other times, new conditions arise because of hormonal and body changes that occur during pregnancy. They can involve the mother’s health, the baby’s health, or both. Some women have health problems that arise during pregnancy, and other women have health problems before they become pregnant that could lead to complications. It is very important for women to receive health care before and during pregnancy to decrease the risk of pregnancy complications. If you are receiving treatment for a health problem, your health care provider might want to change the way your health problem is managed.
High Risk Pregnancy
A high-risk pregnancy is one that threatens the health or life of the mother or her fetus. It often requires specialized care from specially trained providers. Some pregnancies become high risk as they progress, while some women are at increased risk for complications even before they get pregnant for a variety of reasons. Early and regular prenatal care helps many women have healthy pregnancies and deliveries without complications. A high-risk pregnancy may be one that involves chronic health problems, such as diabetes or high blood pressure; infections; complications from a previous pregnancy; or other issues that might arise during pregnancy. Treatment for high-risk pregnancy depends on the risk factors and overall health of the mother and fetus.
Ideally, women of child bearing age should be immunized before becoming pregnant to protect their babies against various diseases. Pregnancy should not deter a woman from receiving vaccines that are safe and will protect both her health and that of her unborn child. Extreme care has to be taken to avoid those vaccines that harm the unborn baby. Pregnant women who aren’t up-to-date on their immunizations may be susceptible to diseases that can harm them or their unborn child. If you’re pregnant, talk to your doctor about which vaccines you may need and whether you should get them now or wait until after your child is born.
Bad Obstetric History
Pregnancy loss is a frustrating and challenging problem for couples and clinicians alike. Miscarriage is often associated with guilt, embarrassment and depressive states. This is particularly true when the patient presents with subsequent pregnancy with added concerns of primary or secondary infertility, irregular menses, absent or irregular ovulation, a known history of uterine fibroids, a family history of miscarriage, advancing age, medical history and a prior history of pregnancy complications. It certainly warrants a detailed consultation and reassurance with a practitioner committed to pregnancy loss evaluation.
Ectopic / Tubal Pregnancy
Pregnancy begins with a fertilized egg. Normally, the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants and grows outside the main cavity of the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy most often occurs in a fallopian tube, which carries eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. This type of ectopic pregnancy is called a tubal pregnancy. Sometimes, an ectopic pregnancy occurs in other areas of the body, such as the ovary, abdominal cavity or the lower part of the uterus (cervix), which connects to the vagina. An ectopic pregnancy can't proceed normally. The fertilized egg can't survive, and the growing tissue may cause life-threatening bleeding, if left untreated.
A multiple pregnancy occurs when one egg (ovum) splits before implanting or when separate eggs are each fertilized by a different sperm. Identical twins or triplets occur with the fertilization of a single egg that later divides into two or three identical embryos. Identical twins or triplets have the same genetic identity, are always the same sex, and look almost exactly the same. Fraternal multiples develop from separate eggs that are each fertilized by a different sperm. Fraternal twins might or might not be of the same sex and might not necessarily resemble each other any more than two siblings from the same parents might.
Your pregnancy is one of the most exciting times of your life. At Fathima hospital, we will help you enjoy the journey with the support of our expert team, in modern private surroundings.
Families have trusted us for generations at this special time, and we have an enviable international reputation for private maternity care.
Our expertise enables us to safely look after you and your baby, whether it is your first child, your third child, you are expecting twins, or if you or your little one has additional health needs. Whatever your situation, we have the right team to support you. Our packages have been devised with you in mind, to give you the time and attention you need to make the birth of your child as special as possible.
Your pregnancy journey has begun! When is your due date?
Fathima hopsital - Maternity care facilities Process Chart
The best practices to ensure the that a mother gets utmost care during pregnancy and labor. Here is a list of our resources enabling to help you prepare for everything, from conception to delivery and beyond. Fathima hospital is fully equipped to comply with the maternity care Process chart.
Treatments and Procedures
The Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology has the capability and facilities to deal with a diverse range of cases and complexities in partnership with specialty services such as Foetal Medicine, Anaesthesia, Critical care, high risk, painless labour, Gynaecological surgeries for fibroid, prolapsed, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, Laparoscopic and hysteroscopic surgeries