September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month

September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month

Written by  PinnacleHealth
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PinnacleHealth Women's Cancer Center reminds you that September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month.  GCAM emphasis is to reach women who have not been diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer, creating awareness about the prevention and early detection of women's cancer.

LEARN about risk factors and symptoms of gynecologic cancers
LISTEN to your body for symptoms
ACT to reduce your risk and take preventive steps. Seek care from a gynecologic oncologist if you have been diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer.

gynecological cancer awarenessCervical Cancer:

Learn:  -It is preventable and most often caused by HPV (Human Papilloma Virus).

Listen:  -Most often there are no symptoms. Watch for bleeding after intercourse or excessive discharge or bleeding between periods.

Act:  -Get vaccinated for the HPV virus before you become sexually active. 

-Get Pap tests regularly when recommended, and stop smoking.

gynecological cancer awarenessUterine/Endometrial Cancer:

Learn:  -It is the most common gynecologic cancer. It usually occurs around the time of menopause, but younger women are also at risk.

-Pap test does not screen for uterine cancer.

-Know your family history of endometrial or colon cancer.

-Taking Estrogen alone or use of tamoxifen could be a possible risk factor.

Listen:  -To your body for these symptoms: Bleeding after menopause; Abnormal, irregular or very heavy vaginal bleeding in younger women.

Act: - If you have these symptoms and an endometrial biopsy result is positive, seek care from a gynecologic oncologist.

-Reduce your risk by managing your weight; keep blood pressure and blood sugar under control.

ovarian cancerOvarian Cancer:

Learn:  -One in 71 women will develop ovarian cancer. Learn your individual risk for ovarian cancer, as there is no screening for it, and only 15% are detected at the earliest most curable stage.

-A Pap test does not screen for ovarian cancer.

-Know your family history of ovarian and breast cancer

Listen: -If you have these symptoms almost daily for more than a few weeks, and they are persistent and unusual for you, report them to your physician.


-Pelvic or abdominal pain

-Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly

-Urinary urgency or frequency symptoms

Act:  -Because there is no screening, women need to know their risks and listen to their bodies for symptoms. Ask your doctor to consider ovarian cancer as a possible cause of these symptoms, even though it is unlikely that you have ovarian cancer. If after any tests, ovarian cancer is suspected, seek care from a gynecologic oncologist.

PINNACLEHEALTH ~ Women's Cancer Center


#1 Jemma 2014-09-09 23:44
My Mum underwent surgery on Monday for Mucosal Melanoma that presented on her labia. Whilst this is a very rare (and sadly aggressive) strain of melanoma, it is also a cancer that may present in the gynaecological area. The message - if you notice ANY change, anywhere, get it checked out without delay.

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