Malignant Tumors of the Female Reproductive System

  • Elisabete WeiderpassEmail author
  • Dana Hashim
  • France Labrèche


Cancers of the female reproductive system—namely, cancer of the cervix uteri (cervical cancer); cancer of the corpus uteri (which includes mostly adenocarcinomas originating in the endometrium and some other rarer cancers, such as sarcomas); ovarian, vulvar, vaginal, and fallopian tube cancers; and choriocarcinoma—are an important cause of cancer morbidity and mortality worldwide. Cervical, endometrial, and ovarian cancers are relatively common, while the other cancers of the female reproductive system are very rare. The only agent considered to be carcinogenic to the female reproductive system with sufficient evidence in humans is asbestos, classified as a carcinogen for the human ovary. Exposure to other agents with sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity generally occurs through medical treatments (diethylstilbestrol, oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy, X-radiation, and γ-radiation), environmental exposure (atomic bomb survivors), personal lifestyle habits (smoking, perineal use of talc-based body powder), or infections with viruses, namely, human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV1) and several human papilloma virus (HPV) types.


Cervix Endometrial cancer Ovarian cancer Vulva Vagina Fallopian tube Women Cervical cancer Asbestos Occupational exposures 



Where authors are identified as personnel of the International Agency for Research on Cancer / World Health Organization, the authors alone are responsible for the views expressed in this article and they do not necessarily represent the decisions, policy or views of the International Agency for Research on Cancer / World Health Organization. Dr. Hashim was at IARC at the time of writing this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabete Weiderpass
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dana Hashim
    • 1
    • 2
  • France Labrèche
    • 3
  1. 1.International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), World Health Organization (WHO)LyonFrance
  2. 2.Medicine, Haematology and OncologyIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Département de Santé environnementale et santé au travail, École de santé publiqueUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada

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