SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month, a national recognition established by the Foundation for Women’s Cancer in 1999. It is estimated that this year 98,000 women will be diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer and some 30,000 will die from the disease. Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month provides an important opportunity to draw attention to this important women’s health issue and offer vital information on cancer risks, warning signs, and prevention strategies.
Gynecological cancers are those that develop in a woman’s reproductive tract. These include cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, vaginal cancer, and vulvar cancer.
There are different risk factors for each of these cancers, including, in some cases, heredity or genetics. Most cancers are not inherited and some are related to a virus known as the Human Papilloma Virus or HPV for short. Many women develop cancer without being considered high risk. It is important for women to be aware of the types of gynecological cancer, symptoms, and potential warning signs to watch out for, and screening and prevention strategies.
Each type of gynecological cancer has different symptoms, some of which may be difficult to recognize. While women should be familiar with the symptoms associated with gynecological cancer, it is just as important for women to pay attention to their own bodies and take note when something is “off” or not normal. Women should be aware of any abnormal bleeding especially after menopause. Screening exams and evaluations should be scheduled for unusual symptoms such as a persistent increase in vaginal discharge or abdominal or pelvic pain that does not resolve.
For further information or to make an appointment, please call Springfield Gynecology at 802-885-7651.