Gynecologic cancers are comprised of five cancer types: cervical, endometrial, ovarian, vaginal and vulvar.

Cervical cancer is caused by abnormal changes in squamous cells, which protect the outside of the cervix, and glandular cells, which are mostly inside the cervix and produce the fluid and mucus commonly seen during ovulation. This is the only gynecologic cancer that can be prevented by regular screening with a gynecologist and preventive vaccination (HPV).

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Endometrial, or uterine, cancer occurs in the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium.

Ovarian cancer, the seventh most common cancer among women, according to the Foundation for Women’s Cancer, occurs from abnormal cell growth in the ovaries.

Vaginal cancer, which begins in the vagina and is one of the rarest gynecologic cancers, occurs most often in the lining of the vagina. It can also be prevented by vaccinations.

Vulvar cancer, also a rare gynecologic cancer, occurs in the inner and outer lips of the vagina, the clitoris, the opening of the vagina and its glands.