September gives women the opportunity to pay special attention to their health.
Gynecological cancer is the fourth leading cause of fatal cancers in women, which is why September is dedicated to highlight the topic. Gynecological cancer is a classification for five types of cancer – cervical, ovarian, vaginal, vulvar, and uterine cancer.
Despite their frequency, gynecological cancers are often overlooked, said Dr. Rony Abou-Jawde from Mosaic Life Care.
“Even if we don’t talk about it a lot, it’s still very important,” he said. “I would like to mention that some of these cancers are completely preventable.”
The risk of cervical cancer can be reduced by 90% with an HPV vaccine and safe sexual practices, Abou-Jawde said.
Many variants are considered under the umbrella of gynecological cancers because their symptoms are often vague and similar. Some symptoms are more specific, but general concerns should also be brought to the attention of a health care provider, Abou-Jawde said.
“Don’t discard vague symptoms,” he said. “Especially women with abdominal discomfort, gas, vaginal bleeding, any post-menopausal bleeding … (or) they feel full quickly after eating.”
Family history can also play a role in these cancers, Abou-Jawde said, so people need to share this type of information with their doctors.
“There are many malignancies – and gynecologic malignancies are one of them – that could have an inherited mutation or a gene that you might have inherited,” he said. “And that could lead us to do genetic testing. We do a lot of genetic tests. “
Medical professionals have already identified several genes that are found in different types of cancer, Abou-Jawbe said. Finding these traits could lead to a family member being diagnosed with cancer at an early stage or even taking preventive measures to prevent the possibility of cancer, he said.