September Is Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month
Although breast cancer is more common, gynecologic cancers impact many women each year, with doctors diagnosing nearly 100,000 cases annually in the U.S. Unfortunately, there is no way to know who will develop these cancers, so it is crucial for women to have regular checkups. September is Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month, an excellent time to learn more about gynecologic cancer treatment, as well as symptoms for which you need to be on alert.
Multiple Cancer Types
There are several types of gynecological cancer, which encompasses all cancers that occur in a woman’s reproductive organs. Doctors distinguish cancers by where they originate, with the different types, including the following:
- Uterine Cancer
- Cervical Cancer
- Vaginal Cancer
- Vulvar Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
A Pap test is available to detect ovarian cancer. However, there are no other screenings available at this time for different types of gynecologic cancer.
Signs and Symptoms
Each gynecologic cancer has different symptoms, so it is critical that women know how their body functions typically, so they can recognize signs that point to something that is not normal. Symptoms of gynecologic cancer include the following:
- Vaginal bleeding or even discharge that is not normal can occur in cancer of the cervix, ovaries, uterus or vagina.
- Difficulty eating or feeling full too fast is a symptom of ovarian cancer.
- Pressure or pain in the pelvic area can point to ovarian or uterine cancer.
- Pressing or frequent need to urinate are signs of ovarian and vaginal cancer; constipation may also point to these cancers.
- Bloating and pain in the abdomen or back may be a sign of ovarian cancer.
- Vulvar cancer symptoms include tenderness, pain, itching or a burning sensation, as well as changes in skin color or warts, sores and rashes in the vulva.
These symptoms may also be the result of another gynecological issue. If you have symptoms such as these for two weeks or longer, you should consult a doctor.
Depending on the cancer type, what stage it is in, location and your own health, there are many options for gynecologic cancer treatment. At Orange County CyberKnife, your medical team will work with you to find the best option, which can include the following procedures:
- Chemotherapy: Specific medicines that kill or reduce cancerous cells.
- Surgery: Surgical removal of some or all of the cancerous tumor.
- Radiation: There are several types of radiation therapy available, including both internal and external applications. External treatments target the tumor through laser beam radiation, while internal therapies place radioactive sources into the body near the tumor site to deliver radiation doses.
Hyperthermia may also be used in treating your cancer. This non-invasive procedure targets tumors by exposing them to very high temperatures, which makes them more responsive to doses of radiation.
Contact Orange County CyberKnife
The human papillomavirus can cause some gynecologic cancers, so getting the HPV vaccine can lower your risk. Tests for HPV and ovarian cancer are available. However, paying attention to your body and getting regular checkups are your best bet to find cancer early. For gynecologic cancer treatment from world-class specialists, contact our office.