What is gynaecological cancer?
There are five cancers that come under the gynaecological or 'women’s cancers' umbrella:
Who does gynaecological cancer affect?
Generally, most cases of gynaecological cancers occur in women aged 50 years and over, typically in women who are post-menopausal. 75% of vulval cancer diagnoses, for example, occur in women aged 65 and over. However, incidence rates of certain cancers in younger women have risen, with over half of all new cases of cervical cancer now diagnosed in women under 50. Cervical cancer is also the most common form of cancer in women aged 20-29 years (www.cervicalcancerinfo.co.uk).
The good news about common cancers in young women, such as cervical cancer, is that rates have halved since the introduction of the NHS cervical cancer screening programme and there is now a nationwide HPV inoculation programme for girls aged 12-13. (Cancer Research UK)
What are the symptoms of gynaecological cancer?
You may be experiencing untoward physical symptoms, which will have led you to your GP in the first instance for preliminary diagnosis. These could include:
- unusual pelvic mass or growth
- post-menopausal bleeding
- unexpected bleeding
- ulcer or lump found on vulva
Through examination, your GP may choose to refer you to see a specialist consultant gynaecologist. Whether you are medically insured or you wish to self-fund, you can request to be referred privately to Spire Murrayfield and Shawfair Park Hospital in Edinburgh.
What gynaecological cancer treatments are available privately?
Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery are all treatment options for gynaecological cancers, and your specialist consultant will identify the best approach to suit your individual clinical needs.
When your GP refers you to Spire Murrayfield Hospital you may in the first instance be seen by a consultant gynaecologist. If they decide that further investigation may be required, you may then be referred on to a consultant gynaecology oncology specialist or to our One Stop Gynaecology Clinic. Our One Stop Gynaecological Clinic is designed to diagnose the symptoms of gynaecological disease as soon as possible. The clinic is run by Dr Cameron Martin and Dr Graeme Walker, both consultant gynaecological oncology specialists. Together, they lead a multi-disciplinary team, which includes a specialist gynaecology care nurse, medical and clinical oncologists, specialist radiologists and pathologists.
The whole team are part of the South East Scotland Cancer Network (SCAN) and all patients that have a gynaecological cancer diagnosis will have their case and treatment pathway discussed and planned at a multi-disciplinary team meeting.