Cancer is something that can affect woman of all ages and backgrounds, and early detection is essential for positive outcomes of treatment. Women can be affected by five different gynecological cancers and should screen for these cancers as necessary. To learn more, contact the Orange Blossom Women’s Group today.
What Are Gynecological Cancers?
There are five cancers that affect different parts of the reproductive system:
- Uterine/endometrial cancer affects the endometrial lining of the womb, and can also be called womb or uterine cancer. It is the most common of the gynecological cancers, primarily in women after menopause.
- Cervical cancer affects the lining of the cervix and can affect women of all ages.
- Ovarian cancer affects the ovaries, or the tubes connecting the ovaries to the uterus. It is the second-most common gynecological cancer.
- Vaginal cancer affects cells in the vagina and is quite rare. It is most often diagnosed in women after menopause.
- Vulvar cancer affects the external reproductive organs, most commonly the labia, but can also be found on the skin between the vulva and anus, or on the skin around the clitoris. It is quite rare.
Screening Tests for Gynecological Cancers
Screening is the first line of defense against gynecological cancers, as early detection of cancer usually increases the likelihood of successful treatment of cancer. When you schedule an appointment with Orange Blossom Women’s Group in Trinity, we can advise you on what your screening options are.
The most common screening is the Pap smear, which is regularly performed during a routine gynecological visit. The Pap smear should be performed yearly after the age of 21, or three years after the start of sexual activity, whichever one comes first. The test is used to detect cervical and endometrial cancer.
A pelvic exam is also performed routinely as part of a gynecological visit. This test should start at the age of 18, or at the onset of sexual activity. The pelvic exam can detect ovarian and cervical cancer.
Endometrial tissue samples can detect endometrial cancers but are only performed on women at the start of menopause with a history of cancer, or women that show symptoms of endometrial cancer.
There are no routine tests for vaginal and vulvar cancers, and these are usually only tested for when a woman presents with other symptoms such as lumps or changes in the skin on the affected area.
Keeping Up With Regular Screens
Early detection is the key to fighting off gynecological cancers, so book an appointment with us at Orange Blossom Women’s Group in Trinity, FL, where our specialists will work with you to develop a screening schedule designed for your individual needs.