Importance Of Recognizing The Symptoms Of Gynecologic Cancers


In order for doctors to detect gynecologic cancers early, women need to be able to recognize the symptoms that something is amiss with their bodies. Awareness of the warning symptoms can lead to early diagnosis and treatment—both of which can save your life. The sooner a gynecologic oncologist can start treatment, the more effective it will be.

Types of Gynecologic Cancer

Gynecologic and genital cancers can take several different forms. Although the symptoms and risk factors for the various cancers differ, some cancers of the reproductive organs share similar symptoms.

Certain gynecologic cancers, like uterine cancer, are more common than others whereas some cancers, such as cervical cancer, take years to develop. And while some women develop less frequently seen cancers like fallopian tube cancer or primary peritoneal cancer, the most common types of gynecologic cancers include:

  1. Cervical
  2. Uterine (also known as endometrial)
  3. Ovarian
  4. Vaginal
  5. Vulvar

Symptoms That May Be Signs of Gynecologic Cancer

Since some symptoms are common problems that women oftentimes experience and therefore may think are no reason for alarm, symptoms that you normally attribute to menstruation, menopause, stress, or your bladder could be signs of cancer. That's why it's important to take seriously any symptoms that persist for more than a couple of weeks or don't seem normal for you. Although your symptoms may not be due to cancer, you should see your gynecologist to have the possibility ruled out.

Common symptoms women suffer that can also be signs of gynecologic cancer include:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Pelvic pain or pressure
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Feeling full fast when eating
  • Back pain
  • Vaginal itching or burning
  • Chronic fatigue

Even though you may not have noticeable symptoms at first, maybe you just don't feel right. Or, what seems like a bladder infection may actually be a sign of something more serious. For instance, many women tend to associate constant bladder pressure and frequent urination with a bladder infection when in reality these symptoms can be signs of gynecologic cancer.

More Pronounced Symptoms That May Be Warning Signs of Cancer

While not all women with the same type of gynecologic cancer experience like symptoms, signs that women often find more alarming include:

  • Significant change in menstrual cycle for post-menopausal women
  • Vaginal discharge that may be foul smelling or tinged with blood
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding—especially following menopause
  • Anemia that occurs from abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Painful urination and/or pain during sexual intercourse
  • Swelling in one leg
  • Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss
  • Tenderness, a lump, open sore, or what looks like warts on the outside of the genital area

Don't wait to see your doctor if you have signs that indicate the possible presence of a gynecologic cancer. For additional reading, click here.


12 January 2017

A New Baby

For many couples, bringing home a new baby from the hospital is one of the most exciting events of their lives. Do you believe you’re pregnant for the first time in your life? If you think you’re expecting a baby, schedule an appointment with a reputable OBGYN as soon as possible. This medical professional can perform a pregnancy test on you in order to confirm if your suspicions are correct. If you’re pregnant, your OBGYN will likely prescribe prenatal vitamins for you to take every day. This individual might also offer you advice about proper nutrition and exercise. On this blog, I hope you will discover how OBGYNs help women thrive during pregnancy. Enjoy!