Gynecologic Cancers: What you need to know about your Gynecologic Health. We all know about our breast health…but what about other female cancers? What’s healthy, what’s not? Your Pap smear only tests for cervical cancer, not uterine or ovarian. Everything you’ve been afraid to ask…and everything your mother didn’t tell you. With Experts: Dr. Stacey Akers, Gynecologic Oncologist from the Piver Center for Women’s Health & Wellness at Catholic Health & Roswell Park Cancer Institute & Dr. David Marchetti, Gynecologic Oncologist from CCS Oncology
When cancer starts in a woman’s reproductive organs, it is called gynecologic cancer. The five main types of gynecologic cancer are: cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar. Only one gynecologic cancer, cervical cancer has a screening test – the PAP test, which can find this cancer early, when treatment can be most effective. Since there is no simple and reliable way to screen for any gynecologic cancers except cervical cancer, it is especially important for women to know & recognize warning signs, and learn if there are things you can do to reduce your risk.
Treatments for gynecologic cancer varies, and depends on the type of cancer and how far it has spread. There is no way to know for sure if you will get a gynecologic cancer. That’s why it is important to pay attention to your body and know what is normal for you, so you can recognize the warning signs or symptoms of gynecologic cancer.
Studies have shown that for ovarian cancer, less than half of all women diagnosed are getting the right surgery and treatment in the first year of their disease that can impact their overall survival. Gynecologic cancer incidence is expected to increase in the future.
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Kathleen Maxian, President