Things You Didn’t Know About Below the Belt Cancers

Thousands of women in the US are diagnosed with some form of gynecologic cancer each year. These are things that people don’t like to talk about and that doctors have a hard time treating.

Here’s what you need to know and how to detect these cancers earlier:

  • Cervical, ovarian, and uterine are the most common types of gynecologic cancer.
  • Many women feel embarrassed to talk to their doctors about “that part” of their body.
  • There are 150 strains of HPV, a dozen of which can cause cancer. The HPV vaccine can prevent the most common cancer-causing strains of the virus. Studies show the vaccine has been doing a good job of cutting the cancer risk.
  • The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes aren’t the only concerns when it comes to gynecologic cancer. Approximately 24 genes have been associated with a greater chance of developing ovarian cancer, that’s why it’s so important to discuss your personal and family history with your doctor. Fill out a family history form before you next see your doctor.
  • Cervical cancer is the only one of these types of cancers to have a reliable screening tool.
  • While there’s no screening for uterine cancer, its first symptom—unexplained bleeding—tends to show up early, so go to your doctor if you notice this symptom. Even if it’s a tiny bit of blood, mention it to your doctor.
  • 70% of ovarian cancers reach Stage III or IV before they’re even diagnosed.
  • There’s been controversy over how frequently women need to get a Pap smear and a pelvic exam. You should see your gynecologist once a year.

Be an empowered patient and make sure you get the level of care you deserve. Start by learning more about 3 Steps Detect education.