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Pelvic Cancer


Healthgrades Editorial Staff

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.

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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.

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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.

Medical Reviewers: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Nov 11, 2016

© 2017 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

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Medical References

  1. About Ovarian Cancer. Ovarian Cancer National Alliance.
  2. Anal Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)–Patient Version. National Institutes of Health. National Cancer Institute.
  3. Bladder Cancer. PubMed. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  4. Bone Cancer. National Institutes of Health. National Cancer Institute.
  5. What is Cervical Cancer? American Cancer Society.
  6. Cervical Cancer-Patient Version. National Institutes of Health. National Cancer Institute.
  7. Colorectal Cancer. MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  8. Endometrial cancer. PubMed. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  9. Hulse PA, Carrington BM. MRI Manual of Pelvic Cancer. London, England: Martin Dunitz, an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group; 2004.
  10. Ovarian, Fallopian Tube, and Primary Peritoneal Cancer—Patient Version. National Institutes of Health. National Cancer Institute.
  11. Pelvic Cavity. University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
  12. Pelvis MRI Scan. MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  13. Prostate Cancer. PubMed. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  14. Testicular Cancer. PubMed. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  15. Uterine Cancer. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  16. Vaginal and Vulvar Cancers. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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