What is pelvic cancer?

Pelvic cancer refers to a variety of cancers involving the structures and organs in the pelvis. Your pelvic area is the lower portion of the trunk of your body. It contains the pelvic bones, bladder, rectum, and reproductive organs.

Pelvic cancers that can affect both sexes include bladder cancer, anal cancer, rectal cancer, chondrosarcoma (cancer of the cartilage), and osteosarcoma (cancer of the bone). Pelvic cancer can also occur from the spread or metastasis of other cancers from different areas of the body.

Because the pelvic area contains the reproductive organs, there are pelvic cancers that can affect men and women separately. For men, this includes prostate and testicular cancer. For women, pelvic cancer can include cervical, ovarian, uterine or endometrial, vaginal, and vulvar cancer.

Normally, old or damaged cells in your body will stop dividing and die before they can become cancerous. Healthy young cells usually replace these cells. Cancer occurs when old or damaged cells continue to divide and multiply uncontrollably. In pelvic cancer, the malignancy or cancer develops in the structures or organs of the pelvic area.

Treatment and prognosis of pelvic cancer varies depending on the type of cancer and the stage of advancement; your age, medical history, and coexisting conditions or diseases; and other factors. Treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy. In general, diagnosis and treatment in an early stage of development, before cancer cells have spread, offers the best prognosis for a complete cure.

Pelvic cancer can lead to life-threatening complications and can be fatal, especially left undetected and untreated. Seeking regular medical care offers the best chances of discovering pelvic cancer in its earliest, most curable stage, often before symptoms are present. If you have pelvic cancer, following your treatment plan may help reduce your risk of serious complications.

SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of pelvic cancer?

Symptoms of pelvic cancer vary depending on the type of cancer.

Symptoms of cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is a malignancy of the cervix, the organ that provides an opening between the vagina and the uterus. Generally, cervical cancer produces no symptoms in its earliest stages. Symptoms ... Read more about pelvic cancersymptoms

CAUSES

What causes pelvic cancer?

Normally cells in your body that are old or damaged will stop dividing and die before they can become cancerous. Healthy young cells usually replace these cells. Pelvic cancer occurs when old or damaged cells to continue to divide and multiply uncontrollably. What causes this to happen is not known for most cancers.

Some cancers have more definite causes. For example, certain type... Read more about pelvic cancercauses

TREATMENTS

How is pelvic cancer treated?

Treatment of pelvic cancer begins with seeking regular, routine medical care throughout your life. Regular medical care allows your healthcare provider to best evaluate your risks of developing pelvic cancer and perform routine screening measures, diagnostic testing, and other assessments as needed. These measures greatly increase the chances of detecting pelvic cancer in its earliest, most cur... Read more about pelvic cancertreatments

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 7, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

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