Cancer is the disease of the cells, which are the building blocks of a human being. Our cells are mostly controlled by our genes. All cancers begin because of problems with these genes.
Most of the time the human body can fix these gene problems by itself. But sometimes it cannot, meaning the cells can grow without stopping. This leads to a growth or swelling (a tumour).
It is important to remember that this is general information. There are many different types of cancer and, these days, lots of different treatments and drugs that work to cure or help slow the growth of cancers. Your doctors will use tests to find out exactly what type of cancer you have and then help you to decide the best way to treat it.
The word ‘cancer’ causes a lot of fear in many people. If you or someone you are close to has, or is suspected of having, cancer then it can help to get support to manage the fear. Many hospitals have professional counselors who can support you. Other networks, such as BreaCan or the Victorian Cancer Council, can also help put you in touch with people to assist you.
Types of cancer found in females
Cervical changes & dysplasia
Dysplasia means the unusual growth of cells in a part of the body. The cervix forms the neck of your uterus (or womb) and sits at the top of your vagina. Changes to the cells in the cervix are known as dysplasia.
The cervix forms the neck of your uterus (or womb) and sits at the top of your vagina. This cancer is not very common. Each year there are about 730 new cases of cervical cancer found in Australian
The endometrium is the lining of the uterus or womb. Also known as uterine cancer, endometrial cancer is the most common gynaecological cancer with 1900 Australian women diagnosed each year.
Fallopian tube cancer
The fallopian tubes are part of your reproductive system. When you ovulate an egg passes from your ovaries along your fallopian tubes to your uterus. Each year about 70 Australian women find out they have fallopian tube cancer.
The ovaries are small organs that make female hormones and eggs. Around 3 in 100 Australian women who have cancer have ovarian cancer. Each year, about 1300 Australian women find out they have ovarian cancer.
Vaginal cancer is rare. About one in every 200 Australian women with cancer have cancer of the vagina. Each year about 90 new cases of vaginal cancer are found in Australian women.
The vulva is the name of the genitals on the outside of a woman’s body. It includes the clitoris, the labia majora and labia minora. Vulvar cancer grows in the clitoris or labia.