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Rare Gynecological Cancers

Jordan Valley Cancer Center is staffed with cancer specialists who are experienced in treating several rare gynecological cancers. With our integrative approach to gynecological cancer treatment, patients have the opportunity to receive treatment from a diverse team of cancer specialists, including medical, radiology and surgical oncologists. Learn more about rare gynecological cancers treated at our facilities in West Jordan, UT.

Vaginal & Vulvar Cancer

Together, vaginal and vulvar cancers account for just “six to seven percent of all gynecologic cancers diagnosed in the United States,” reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There will be approximately 4,620 new cases of vaginal cancer diagnosed in the U.S. in 2016, according to The American Cancer Society; women in the U.S. have a 1 in 1,1000 lifetime risk of developing vaginal cancer. The ACS estimates there will be 5,950 diagnoses of vulvar cancer in the U.S. in 2016. Women have a 1 in 333 lifetime chance of developing this cancer.

The exact cause of these cancers is not fully understood. However, cancer begins in the body when cells divide and grow abnormally. Eventually, the cells may form a lump or mass; the tumor may then metastasize, spreading to other areas of the body.

Signs & Symptoms: Vaginal & Vulvar Cancers

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding (especially after intercourse)
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Pain during intercourse
  • A mass or lump that can be felt
  • Itching
  • Open sore

Risk Factors: Vaginal & Vulvar Cancers

Risk factors for vaginal and vulvar cancer may include:

  • Age (especially 70+)
  • HPV
  • Cervical cancer
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • HIV
  • Alcohol use (vaginal cancer)
  • Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (vulvar cancer)
  • Lichen sclerosus (vulvar cancer)

Primary Peritoneal Cancer

The peritoneum is a thin lining of epithelial cells that contains the uterus, bladder, rectum and other organs; the peritoneum allows these organs to move smoothly within the abdomen. Primary peritoneal cancer often presents itself similarly to ovarian cancer.

Signs & Symptoms: Primary Peritoneal Cancer

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Pain, swelling or pressure in the abdomen or pelvis
  • Heavy or irregular vaginal bleeding (especially after menopause)
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Lump or mass in pelvic area
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort (gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea etc.)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight gain/loss

Risk Factors: Primary Peritoneal Cancer

Risk factors for primary peritoneal cancer may be similar to risk factors for ovarian cancer. Overall, getting older and carrying the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes seem to be the two major discernible risk factors.

Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD)

Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD) is a group of tumors that grow abnormally inside the uterus; these cells do not develop in the same way as endometrial or cervical cancer, however. Instead, the tumors originate in cells that should develop in the placenta during pregnancy. Not all instances of GTD are cancerous.

This disease occurs in approximately one out of 1,000 pregnancies in the U.S. These tumors account for less than one percent of all female reproductive system cancers in the U.S., reports the ACS. The good news is, GTD can be treated, and in most cases, treatment results in a full cure.

Signs & Symptoms: Vaginal & Vulvar Cancers

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Anemia
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Vomiting
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Hyperthyroidism

Risk Factors: GTD

  • Age (over 35 and younger than 20, with additional elevated risk for women over 45
  • Prior molar pregnancy
  • Prior miscarriage(s)
  • Blood type A or AB
  • Use of oral contraceptive
  • Family history of one or more molar pregnancies (rare)

How do you diagnose rare gynecologic cancers?

Physicians at Jordan Valley Cancer Center may use the following tools in evaluating, diagnosing and staging rare gynecologic cancers. Select a procedure to learn more:

How do you treat gynecologic cancer?

Jordan Valley Cancer Center physicians are able to offer a comprehensive array of cancer treatment options. By combining the expertise and knowledge of cancer specialists from a variety of fields, patients have many options to choose from when they step into our new facility. Each patient is paired with a Nurse Navigator, who serves as an educator and advocate; the Nurse Navigator can explain options and help with the decision-making process to whatever degree the patient desires. Select a gynecologic cancer treatment option below to learn more about it:

The Patient Experience at Jordan Valley Cancer Center

For more information about the patient experience at Jordan Valley Cancer Center, please contact us at 801-601-2260.