Stay Healthy and Help us Celebrate Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month 2020
Another year has gone by, but September is still Gynecologic Cancer awareness month! At Garden OB/GYN, we believe it is crucial to be aware of the different types of gynecological cancers that exist. The more you know about these cancers’ symptoms, risk f
Another year has gone by, but September is still Gynecologic Cancer awareness month! At Garden OB/GYN, we believe it is crucial to be aware of the different types of gynecological cancers that exist. The more you know about these cancers’ symptoms, risk factors, prevention methods, diagnosis/detection processes and treatments, the more control you can have in managing your health. Our providers are not only experts in diagnosing and treating such cancers, but are also equipped to educate you on everything you need to know for gynecological cancer prevention and health management. Together, we can help save lives and promote healthy living.
When it comes to cancer, early detection is crucially important. The sooner symptoms are recognized, the more likely treatment will be successful. This is important due to the unfortunate widespread instances of cancer in our country. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2018, there were over 110,070 new cases of gynecological cancer. Approximately 33,000 women die a year from gynecological cancers in the United States alone. Developing cancer can happen at any age and catching it early increases the probability of having effective treatment to find a cure. That is why Garden OB/GYN focuses on routine cancer monitoring and why we strongly urge our patients to stay informed about possible gynecological cancers and their symptoms.
What does Garden OB/GYN do for early detection?
Last year, we initiated our Garden OB/GYN Cancer Prevention Project, which is a proactive approach to cancer screening. As part of this initiative, at each of our locations in Manhattan, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk County, we screen our patients for all types of gynecological cancers in the hopes of diagnosing any abnormalities at the earliest stage possible. We screen and closely monitor the health of our patients to recognize the early symptoms and/or formation of cervical, breast, ovarian, endometrial, vaginal and vulvar cancers. Last year we diagnosed and saved over 100 patients, from this project alone, with some patients being as young as 25.
What are the different types of Gynecological Cancers, their symptoms, and screening?
The cervix is made of two parts, the lower part (womb) and the upper part (birth canal). Cervical cancer emerges when cancer cells start growing on the lining of the cervix.
Symptoms: Symptoms of cervical cancer include abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge.
Detection: Pap smears screen for any precancerous or cancerous changes in your cervix. You also have an option to get an HPV test, which shows if you have active human papillomavirus (HPV). An HPV test is often used as a red flag rather than a screening tool.
Causes: HPV causes cervical cancer, which is why an HPV test can be helpful to understand your current risk of developing this type of cancer
Breast cancer involves cells on the breast forming a tumor that can be physically felt or seen through an x-ray.
Symptoms: Symptoms of breast cancer include a new lump in the breast or underarm, thickening or swelling of part of the breast, nipple discharge (other than breast milk), any change in the size or shape of the breast, and pain in any area of the breast.
Detection: Ultrasounds, MRI, mammograms, clinical breast exam, and breast self-exams are all used to screen for breast cancer.
Ovarian cancer occurs when cancer cells are found inside, near, or on the outer layer of the ovaries.
Symptoms: Symptoms include abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge, feeling full too quickly, difficulty eating, pelvic pressure or pain, frequent urination and/or constipation, bloating, abdominal or back pain
Detection: There are not any standard screening tests for ovarian and endometrial cancers, but the Garden OB/GYN team uses transvaginal, 3D, and a Doppler ultrasound to detect both types of cancer at an early stage. Our doctors believe that a transvaginal ultrasound is a key tool for these screenings; we even offer it to women at their annual well-women exams.
Vaginal cancer starts when there are cancerous cells in the vagina.
Symptoms & Detection: Early signs of vaginal cancer can be detected during your routine pelvic exam. If your doctor sees any sign of inflammation or cellular changes they'll schedule you for a colposcopy. A colposcopy magnifies the view of your vagina to see any abnormal tissue and perform a biopsy if needed.
Uterine cancer involves the formation of cancer cells in the lining of the uterus, known as the endometrium.
Symptoms: Common symptoms are abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge, pelvic pain or pressure.
Detection: Pelvic exams, transvaginal ultrasound, CT scan, and an endometrial biopsy, which is the removal of a small amount of tissue for examination under a microscope, are different ways to determine if cancer is present in the uterine lining.
Because the vulva is a large area, there are different types of vulvar cancer that can develop based on the type of cancer cells that grow in that region.
Symptoms: Most women do not experience any symptoms with this type of cancer, but if you do it is usually uItching burning, pain or tenderness of the vulva, changes in vulva skin color, rash, sores, or warts.
Detection: A pelvic exam and a biopsy is the usual route to diagnosing if you do in-fact have vulvar cancer.
Our providers are more than happy to help you better understand the different types of gynecological cancers that exist, what is involved in their screening processes, what treatment might be, and importantly, what lifestyle habits you can have to proactively protect yourself and promote your wellbeing. We are here for our patients through thick-and-thin, to collaboratively protect against and beat cancer.