Difference between Cervical Cancer & Ovarian Cancer

Difference between Cervical Cancer & Ovarian Cancer

There is significant confusion regarding the differences between ovarian cancer and cervical cancer; some people may feel that the two diseases are identical or very similar. Although both types of gynecologic cancer affect women's reproductive organs, there are significant differences between the two.

Ovarian cancer develops in the fallopian tubes and spreads to the ovaries, which are positioned on each side of the uterus in the lower abdomen. Cervical cancer affects the cervix, located in the narrow, lower portion of the uterus, where it links to the upper end of the vagina. In contrast to ovarian cancer, cervical cancer also affects a distinct area of the female reproductive system.

The fact that these two kinds of gynecologic cancers have similar symptoms may have contributed to the confusion. Both ovarian and cervical cancer can cause bleeding in the vagina and pelvic pain, but the rest of the symptoms differ.

Other symptoms of cervical cancer include pain when engaging in sexual activity and an increase in vaginal discharge.

Ovarian cancer is a reasonably complex disease with fewer specific symptoms that are not usually associated with the female reproductive system. These symptoms include an enlarged or distended belly, persistent pressure or pain in the abdomen or pelvis, trouble eating or feeling full quickly, urine urgency or frequency, and a change in bowel habits with newly developed constipation and diarrhea.

The Pap test, administered during a regular pelvic exam, is an excellent diagnostic tool for detecting cervical cancer; however, it does not detect ovarian cancer. Cervical cancer is the only type of gynecologic cancer that can be prevented with routine screening. There is currently no screening method available for ovarian cancer.

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