Risk Factors for Gynecologic Cancer

Risk Factors for Gynecologic Cancer

There are several types of gynecologic cancer, each of which has a unique set of symptoms, risk factors, and causes. There is no set formula that determines who will develop gynecologic cancer and who will not. The risk factors for gynecologic cancer vary depending on the specific type of cancer.

Risk Factors for Gynecologic Cancer

All women are at risk of developing gynecologic cancer. This risk increases over time. The most common risk factors for gynecologic cancer include:

  • Age
  • Family history
  • Exposure to human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Having HIV or another autoimmune disorder

In addition to these common risk factors, we have outlined below risk factors by specific type of cancer.

Uterine Cancer

  • Never having been pregnant
  • Early start of menstruation
  • Diabetes
  • Late start of menopause
  • Family history of uterine cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • Complex atypical hyperplasia
  • Past use of Tamoxifen (slight increase of risk)

Cervical Cancer

  • Exposure to HPV
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Sexual activity at a young age
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Never being pregnant
  • Family history of ovarian or breast cancer
  • Genetic mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes

Vaginal Cancer

  • History of genital warts
  • Abnormal Pap test
  • Exposure to HPV
  • Previous treatment for carcinoma in-situ
  • Previous treatment for invasive cervical cancer

Vulvar Cancer

  • Exposure to HPV
  • History of certain precancerous conditions involving the vulva
  • Having lichen sclerosus, a skin condition involving the vulva

Always consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your risk factors for gynecologic cancer.

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