Gynecologic Cancer Awareness
Comedy host Amber Ruffin and her sister Lacey created a series of videos empowering women to speak up confidently at the gynecologist.
Learn the symptoms of cancers that start in a woman’s reproductive organs and how to lower your risk.
Gynecologic cancers are cancers of women’s reproductive organs. The five main types are cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar cancer.
What Are the Symptoms?
These could be symptoms of a gynecologic cancer—
- Pelvic pain or pressure that doesn’t go away, and you don’t know why.
- Feeling too full, too fast, even when you eat just a little.
- Unusual vaginal bleeding, like having longer or heavier periods than what’s normal for you, or bleeding after you’ve gone through menopause.
It is important to pay attention to your body and know what is normal for you, so you can recognize the symptoms of gynecologic cancer. If you notice anything unusual and it goes on for two weeks or longer, see a doctor.
How Can I Lower My Risk?
You can lower your risk for some gynecologic cancers with a vaccine and screening tests.
Some gynecologic cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus. The HPV vaccine can help prevent cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers.
Hereditary Ovarian Cancer
Several hereditary conditions can raise your chance of getting cancer. Two of the most common are hereditary breast and ovarian cancer and Lynch syndrome. If you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, you may have a higher ovarian cancer risk. Talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk.Family Health History and Cancer
Her cousin’s questions about her aunt’s death from ovarian cancer prompt Dr. Temeika Fairley to collect her family cancer history.