Reproductive cancers

Cancer occurs when cells divide and grow in an uncontrolled way, forming a lump or tumour. Cancer can strike any of the female reproductive organs: ovary, uterus and cervix. Most reproductive cancers are difficult to diagnose until the disease is in advanced stages, which leads to higher death rates. Although the incidence of reproductive cancers is highest in women aged over 50, younger women are also affected. Cancer is usually more aggressive in younger women, who risk losing their fertility and their lives. Routine screening has lowered the incidence of invasive cervical cancer in the western world, and a vaccine against the virus responsible for cervical cancer (HPV) is now available.