Gynecologic Cancer Diagnosis Expertise

At Piedmont Oncology, establishing an accurate diagnosis is the first step in treating gynecologic cancer.


Symptoms of GYN Cancers

Symptoms of gynecologic cancers vary depending on the location of the cancer.

Uterine Cancer, also known as endometrial cancer, can have symptoms such as:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding is the most common symptom

  • Pelvic pain 

  • Pain during intercourse


Cervical Cancer symptoms can consist of the following:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as bleeding between menstrual period-related bleeding or after menopause

  • Pain during intercourse

  • These symptoms are usually not present early during cancer formation but become present as a gynecologic tumor grows


Ovarian cancer symptoms are often not experienced in the early stages of the disease. Once present, symptoms can include:

  • A sense of abdominal bloating

  • Abdominal swelling with weight loss

  • Pelvic region pain 

  • Urinary changes, such as the constant urge to urinate. Rather than a noncancerous condition such as a urinary tract infection, in women with cancer, urinary symptoms are more likely to persist for a long time and may be more severe.


Diagnosis of Gynecologic Cancers 

Through a series of imaging tests, gynecologic cancer experts at Piedmont Oncology can diagnose a range of gynecologic cancers using:

  • Ultrasound
    This test uses sound waves to image the uterus and ovaries. Ultrasound is often used before other imaging studies to assess the need for additional imaging studies (see below) or for biopsy.

  • CT
    Using X-rays to produce pictures of the internal organs, computed tomography or CT can detect a tumor, determine its size and whether it has spread.

  • MRI
    Using magnetic fields, a magnetic resonance image (MRI) can also detect a tumor and determine its size and significance. 

When a gynecologic tumor is suspected, the next step is to perform a biopsy to obtain a piece of the tumor for analysis by a pathologist. Biopsies of a suspected tumor of the ovaries, uterus and cervix are obtained in several ways. In the case of pelvic masses and suspected ovarian cancer, biopsies are not recommended, and our gynecologic oncologists are experts in recommending the best approach.

The pathologist's analysis of the biopsy tissue shows whether or not cancer is present and, if present, an estimate of the tumor's aggressiveness. This information is critical before discussions of treatment.


Gynecologic Cancer Clinical Trials 

The newest treatment options are available to our patients through access to clinical trials. Review of gynecologic cancer-specific clinical trials and proven new therapies are discussed with patients during clinic visits with Piedmont’s cancer specialists.


Contact a Piedmont Gynecologic Cancer Specialist

To make an appointment with a GYN cancer specialist near you or for questions about treatment options, use our convenient Find a Doctor search.

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