A gynaecological examination must always be carried out; the patient's symptoms are not used as the basis of treatment. Papanicolaou test (a Pap smear), endometrial biopsy and ultrasonography are the principal tests carried out in primary care. All malignant tumours and precancerous lesions require specialist management. Gynaecological cancers are encountered in all age groups. The incidence peaks in the 60-70 age group. Some of the cancers of the female genital organs only cause a few symptoms and some progress into an invasive cancer via precursor stages. Early diagnosis and treatment improve prognosis.