Gynecological cancer-ovarian, endometrial, cervical

Kala Visvanathan, Kathy J. Helzlsouer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Gynecological malignancies can result in significant morbidity and mortality. In the United States alone, it is estimated that about 24,000 women will die from cancers of the ovary, endometrium, and cervix annually (1). Women diagnosed with ovarian cancer have the highest mortality, when compared to those with endometrial or cervical cancer. This difference in mortality for ovarian cancer has been attributed to the delay in the diagnoses due to a lack of symptoms in early stage disease, and the fact that we do not have a curative treatment for advanced stage disease (2). The 5-year survival rate for localized disease is 95% (3). Therefore, we could potentially decrease the overall mortality if we are able to detect ovarian cancer at an earlier stage. This has been the focus of current research, along with the search for effective treatment and prevention strategies. In the case of endometrial cancer the issues are different. Despite being detected at an early stage, due to symptoms such as vaginal bleeding, the 5-year survival rates for local-regional disease are still lower than that for breast cancer suggesting a need for better treatments. In comparison with ovarian and endometrial cancer, major advances have been made in cervical cancer. High-risk human papilloma viruses (HPVs) have been identified as the primary etiologic factor and early detection testing with regular pap smears is available the possibility of primary prevention with vaccines exist (4). In addition, a current challenge is identifying women infected with HPV who will go on refer sheet attached to develop cervical cancer. At any one time, up to 6 million women in the United States alone are thought to have contracted HPV (5). Additional challenges include developing effective treatments for HPV, behavioral programs, and effective vaccines to decrease the rates of high-risk HPV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCancer Risk Assessment
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages66
ISBN (Electronic)9780849398544
ISBN (Print)0824729846, 9780824729844
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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