Five Things You Didn’t Know About Gynecologic Cancer

Posted on: September 18, 2014

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Gynecologic Cancer

By: Sarah Todoroff, Communications Specialist
All women are at risk for developing gynecologic cancers and though few will ever develop one, it is important to know the signs and symptoms because there is no way to know for sure who will get a gynecologic cancer. Help the women in your life understand and reduce the risks for these cancers. In honor of gynecologic cancer awareness month here are five things you might not know about gynecologic cancers.
  1. There are five main types of gynecologic cancers: cervical, ovarian, uterine (endometrial), vaginal and vulvar.  While they are often discussed as a group, each gynecologic cancer is unique. Each has different signs, symptoms, and risk factors.
  2. All women are at risk for developing a gynecologic cancer in their lifetime and the risk increases with age. In 2014 it is estimated that in the United States alone, 84,140 women will be diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer and 26,250 women will die from one.
  3. HPV increases the risk of a woman developing cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers. Most of time HPV will not have any symptoms, however if the infection does not clear up, it can cause normal cells to become abnormal. Overtime, the abnormal cells turn into cancer.
  4. Lynch Syndrome is associated with the early onset of cancer and the development of multiple cancer types including, endometrial cancer. Women with Lynch Syndrome have a 60% lifetime risk of developing endometrial cancer. Approximately, 2-5% of all diagnosed endometrial cancers are due to Lynch Syndrome.
  5. There are no general ways to prevent all gynecologic cancers, as each have their own set of prevention tips and risk factors.
However, here are some tips lower your chance of getting them or 
help to find them early.
  • Pay attention to your body and know what is normal for you. If you see any abnormalities, contact your primary care physician.
  • Make healthy lifestyle choices. Eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Know your family healthy history
  • Get your HPV vaccine
  • Get regular Pap tests.

Inside Knowledge Gynecologic Cancer BrochureImage courtesy of the CDC. 

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