Cancer is one of the most common causes of death in women. As leading OB/GYNs in Puyallup, WA and surrounding South Sound region, Dedicated Women’s Health Specialists can assist women by providing cancer screenings and preventive care as well as management and treatment.
Cancer Prevention, Screening, and Management Q & A
What Types of Female Cancers Are There?
- Breast- The most common cancer in women affecting about 1 in 9 women!
- Uterus- The most common cancer involving the reproductive tract.
- Ovary- One of the more deadly cancers with no effective screening.
- Cervix- Mostly related to HPV (human papillomavirus)
- Fallopian tube- Rare
- Vagina- Infrequent
- Vulva- Infrequent
What is Breast Cancer?
- Family history is important in identifying women with particularly increased risk. Some women should undergo genetic screening test.
- Incidence increases with age.
- Breast density is an independent risk factor for breast cancer
- For women at average risk, screening mammogram should be started between age 40 and 50
What is Uterine Cancer?
Most uterine cancers occur in the lining called endometrium. It typically occurs in women after menopause and has an early warning symptom which is abnormal bleeding. After menopause, any kind of bleeding must be evaluated promptly. Endometrial cancer is most often successfully treated with surgery alone. Occasionally, radiation therapy is employed.
What is Ovarian Cancer?
Ovarian cancer is most often diagnosed at an advanced stage because there is no effective screening method available for early detection. Symptoms can be subtle and somewhat vague and may include abdominal bloating, abdominal discomfort, fatigue, and changes in bowel/bladder habits. Ovarian cancer is usually treated by surgery to remove the uterus, tubes, ovaries and any visible tumor present. Following this, chemotherapy is commonly used to control the disease.
What Is Cervical Cancer?
Invasive cervical cancer is now uncommon in the United States due to effective Pap smear screening procedure. On the other hand, more easily treatable precancerous conditions are quite common. In addition, we now have vaccine to prevent HPV infection which should help decrease the incidence of precancerous conditions as well. Currently, Pap smear screening is recommended to start at age 21. For an average woman, it can be done every 3 years unless directed otherwise by their physician. Generally, screening can stop at age 65.