People need to know that gynecologic cancer is not just one cancer, but a group of cancers. These cancers affect the tissue and organs of the female reproductive system. There are several types of gynecologic cancer and these are cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, vaginal cancer and vulvar cancer.
Causes and risk factors of gynecologic cancer
There are lots of risk factors and causes of gynecologic caners but some risks occur in almost all the types of gynecologic cancer. These risks are HPV infection, Des exposure, HIV or AIDS infection and smoking.
Apart from these, there are also some risk factors that cannot be controlled like age, race and family history. Certain conditions are also known to increase the chances of gynecologic caner. However, people need to know that even if there is no risk factor involved, a woman can still end up developing gynecologic cancer.
Symptoms of gynecologic cancer
There are a lot of symptoms because there are several types of gynecologic cancer. Some of the more common signs of gynecologic cancer are pelvic pain, excessive vaginal bleeding, vaginal bleeding during or after a sexual intercourse, abdominal swelling or bloating, sudden weight loss or gain and persistent bowel changes, like diarrhea or constipation.
Apart from these symptoms, there are those that are specific for each type of gynecologic cancer.
Diagnosis of gynecologic cancer
Not every type of gynecologic cancer is diagnosed the same and the diagnosis will depend on the type. In order to make a diagnosis, the doctors usually perform pelvic exams, colposcopy exams, imaging tests and biopsies. Once the cancer has been confirmed, the doctor will make a plan of treatment. The type of cancer, stage and several other general health factors will determine the type of treatment. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery are the most common ways of gynecologic cancer treatment.
Prevention of gynecologic cancer
There are a lot of things that a person can do in order to prevent gynecologic cancer mainly because there are many types of it and not every prevention method will work for every type. The best way a woman can reduce the risk of gynecologic cancer is to reduce the HPV risk.
Getting a regular pap smear will also reduce the risk of gynecologic cancer.
Probably the easiest way to reduce one of the risk factors is to stop smoking. Apart from reducing the risk of gynecologic cancer, quitting smoking will also benefit a lot more health conditions.
Considering a surgery if the physician recommends it should be done as well.