Find out what you can do to help avoid being one of the 28,000 women a year who die from breast, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulvar cancer.
The five gynecological cancers that claim about 28,000 U.S. women a year are breast, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulvar.
Four Ways to Fight Off Gynecological Cancer
There are four key things women can do to lower their risk and increase their survival odds if they do get one of these diseases.
The four tips for helping prevent, or helping survive cancer of the breast, ovaries, uterus and other gynecological tumors, come from the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO).
Tip #1. Be familiar with family history. Do you know what your grandmother died from, for instance? “Old age” might really have been breast or ovarian cancer.
If you have a family history, the SGO recommends a consultation with a genetic counselor and possibly genetic testing.
The SGO considers family history of breast and ovarian cancer a risk factor. In fact, the SGO also says that a family history of colon and uterine cancer may be a risk factor as well for breast and ovarian.
Tip #2. The Pap smear is remarkably effective at preventing uterine (endometrial) cancer because a swab of cells can detect cells at varying stages of being atypical — the forerunner of actual cancerous cells. The procedure is done as part of the routine gynecological exam.
Tip #3. If you have a gynecological malignancy, seek treatment from a gynecological oncologist rather than an OB/GYN. The gynecological oncologist specializes in cancers of the female reproductive system.
Tip #4. Weight management. The most common gynecological cancer is that of the uterus. A major risk factor is being overweight. The SGO urges women to practice weight management to significantly reduce their risk.