Thursday, October 6, 2022

HEALTHIER YOU: Understanding gynecologic cancers

September 13, 2022 by  
Filed under Health

BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES, OB/GYN

DR. ANNETTE MAYES

Gynecologic cancers affect women’s reproductive organs. The five main types are cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar cancer. Here are the basic facts:

Cervical cancer is a disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the cervix.

Ovarian cancer is a cancer that begins in the female organs that produce eggs (ovaries).

Uterine cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the uterus. Most uterine cancers begin in the layer of cells that form the lining (endometrium) of the uterus.

Vaginal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the vagina.

Vulvar cancer is a type of cancer that occurs on the outer surface area of the female genitals.

There are symptoms associated with some gynecologic cancers that might include:

Pelvic pain or pressure that doesn’t go away, and you don’t know why.

Feeling too full, too fast, even when you eat just a little.

Unusual vaginal bleeding — like having longer or heavier periods than what’s normal for you, or bleeding after you’ve gone through menopause.

You can lower your risk for some gynecologic cancers with a vaccine and screening tests. Some gynecologic cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus. The HPV vaccine can help prevent cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers.

Cervical cancer is the only gynecologic cancer that has recommended screening tests. Pap tests (or Pap smear) and HPV tests can help prevent cervical cancers or find it early.

Several hereditary conditions can raise your chance of getting cancer. Two of the most common are hereditary breast and ovarian cancer and Lynch syndrome. If you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, you may have a higher ovarian cancer risk.

Talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk or call the Las Vegas All Women’s Care at (702) 522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane #165 in Las Vegas.

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