September is Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month which is important because all too often, women's cancers are only whispered about. By knowing your own body and knowing what is normal for you and what is not, you can decrease your risk for gynecologic cancer.
Five main types of cancer affect a woman’s reproductive organs:
As a group, they are referred to as gynecologic cancers, but each gynecologic cancer is unique, with different signs, symptoms, and risk factors.
All women are at risk for gynecologic cancers, and the risk increases with age. You can lower your risk for some of these cancers. When gynecologic cancers are found early, treatment works best.
Regular screenings and self-examinations can result in the detection of certain types of gynecologic cancers in their earlier stages, increasing the likelihood of successful treatment and the possibility for a complete cure.
It is important to be aware of your family’s history to help determine if you may have a gene that makes you more susceptible to cancer - knowing can increase the chance of prevention or early diagnosis.
Lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise can have a significant role in the prevention of cancer.
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.
If you have symptoms such as vaginal bleeding that is unusual for you, talk to a doctor right away. You should also see a doctor if you have any other unusual symptoms that last for two weeks or longer and are not normal for you. Symptoms may be caused by something other than cancer, but the only way to know is to see a doctor. Signs and symptoms are not the same for everyone and each gynecologic cancer has its own signs and symptoms.
Schedule an appointment to discuss any concerns you have with the team at WHASN Central. They will know which screenings are right for you.