Gynecologic Cancer Introduction

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GYNECOLOGIC CANCER FACTS

Gynecologic cancers are malignant tumors that originate from the organs that make up the female reproductive tract. These organs consist of the ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix, vagina & vulva. These cancer cells demonstrate an ability to have uncontrolled growth and the potential to spread throughout a woman’s body. Some of these cancers arise sporadically due to unknown reasons while others are related to abnormalities in genes that are either inherited or acquired during a woman’s life. Acquired conditions are usually related to smoking, environmental exposures or infections with certain viruses such as the Human Papilloma Virus. Whatever the reason, these conditions can give rise to and promote cancer formation and abnormal cell growth. There are many different signs & symptoms that can alert a woman that she might have a premalignant or malignant condition. Such identifiable features include external vaginal irritation, irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting, excessive vaginal discharge, pelvic pain or pressure, bloating and abdominal pain, nausea & vomiting, inability to eat normal quantities of food, weight loss & increasing abdominal size. With over 100,000 new gynecologic cancer being diagnosed and 35,000 deaths in the United States each year, no woman is free of risk. Screening with annual exams as well as personal self-awareness and self-examinations often detect some gynecologic cancers in their earliest stages when the disease is most curable. Also, taking a personal interest in one’s own family history can give a woman and her health care provider a hint as to who just might be at increased risk of disease development. Lastly, gynecologic cancers must be treated by highly specialized physicians known as Gynecologic Oncologist. A Gynecologic Oncologist has specialized training in treating…...

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