Pelvic Cancer: Symptoms

By Spader, Catherine, RN

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 that may indicate a more advanced stage include the following:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding that occurs after sex, after menopause, or between menstrual periods

  • Foul-smelling, bloody or unusual vaginal discharge

  • Lower back pain

  • Pain during sexual intercourse

  • Pelvic pain

  • Periods that are longer or heavier than usual

Symptoms of ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is a malignancy in one or both ovaries. Ovaries contain a woman's eggs and produce female hormones. Generally, ovarian cancer produces no symptoms in its earliest stages. When symptoms do occur, they may mimic symptoms of other diseases and may indicate a more advanced stage. Symptoms may include:

  • Abdominal bloating

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea

  • Frequent urination or urgent need to urinate

  • Loss of appetite or feeling full quickly after eating a small amount of food

  • Nausea

  • Pelvic pain

Symptoms of uterine or endometrial cancer

Endometrial cancer is a malignancy of the lining of the uterus, the pear-shaped organ where a fetus grows during pregnancy. The primary symptom of uterine cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding that occurs after menopause, between menstrual periods, or as an excessively heavy menstrual period.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Pelvic pain or cramping, similar to menstrual pain

  • Rapidly growing fibroids and a feeling of fullness in the pelvic area

  • Unusual vaginal discharge that is watery and pink, blood-tinged, or brown in color and foul-smelling

Symptoms of vaginal and vulvar cancer

Vaginal cancer is a malignancy of the vaginal canal. Vulvar cancer is a malignancy of the vulva or outer folds of skin that surround the vaginal opening. Symptoms of these cancers may include:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge or bleeding

  • Blood in the urine or stool

  • Changes in the color of the vulva

  • Constipation

  • Frequent urination

  • Itching, burning or bleeding vulva

  • Pelvic or abdominal pain, especially with sexual intercourse

  • Sores, lumps or ulcers on the vulva

Symptoms of prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is a malignancy of the prostate gland, which is part of a man’s reproductive system. It is a walnut-sized gland that surrounds the urethra (tube that carries urine and semen out of the body) inside a man’s pelvis. Symptoms of prostate cancer may include:

  • Blood in the urine or semen

  • Bone pain, which may indicate a more advanced stage of cancer

  • Difficulty starting to urinate or straining to urinate

  • Dribbling or leaking of urine

  • Urine stream that is slow or starts and stops

Symptoms of testicular cancer

Testicular cancer is a malignancy of the testicles, which are the male reproductive glands located in the scrotum. Symptoms of testicular cancer may include:

  • Enlargement, swelling, or change in the feel of a testicle

  • Growth of breast tissue (gynecomastia)

  • Lump in a testicle

  • Pain in the lower back or lower abdomen

  • Pain, discomfort, or a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum

  • Blood in the stool or bleeding from the anus

  • Changes in bowel habits

  • Itching and discharge from the anus

  • Narrow stool

  • Pain or lumps in the anus

  • Pelvic or abdominal pain

Symptoms of anal and rectal cancer

Anal cancer is a malignancy of the anus, which is the opening that allows the passage of stool. Rectal cancer is a malignancy of the rectum, the final portion of the large intestine that holds stool for elimination. Symptoms of anal and rectal cancer may include:

  • Blood in the stool or bleeding from the anus

  • Changes in bowel habits

  • Itching and discharge from the anus

  • Narrow stool

  • Pain or lumps in the anus

  • Pelvic or abdominal pain 

Symptoms of bladder cancer

Bladder cancer is a malignancy of the bladder, which is the part of your urinary system that stores urine. Symptoms of bladder cancer may include:

  • Abdominal or pelvic pain or tenderness

  • Blood in the urine

  • Bone pain

  • Fatigue

  • Frequent, urgent or painful urination

  • Incontinence

  • Unexplained weight loss

Symptoms of chondrosarcoma and osteosarcoma

Chondrosarcoma (cancer of the cartilage) and osteosarcoma (cancer of the bone) are cancers that occur most often in the pelvis, as well as the upper leg and shoulder. The most common symptom of these cancers is bone pain or swelling in the pelvic area.


INTRODUCTION

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.

... Read more about pelvic cancerintroduction

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.

More Information on Cancer

This Article is Filed Under: Cancer