September marks Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month, which aims to draw attention to this women’s health issue and to offer vital information on the risk of cancers, warning signs, and prevention strategies.
What is gynecological cancer? It is any cancer that develops in a woman’s reproductive tract. Cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer are a few types of gynecological cancers. According to the Foundation for Women’s Cancer (FWC), every five minutes, someone is diagnosed with gynecological cancer.
As someone who was recently diagnosed with endometriosis, it’s very alarming that I’m just learning about this. I wish I had learned more when I was younger and now that I have two young daughters, I’m encouraging everyone to pay attention to your body. You are your best advocate. Learn what is normal for you. Even though I wasn’t diagnosed with a gynecological cancer, I’m doing my part to learn about the risk factors associated with gynecologic cancers unique to female reproductive organs.
There are different risk factors for each of these cancers, including, in some cases, heredity. It’s important for women to be aware of the types of gynecological cancer, symptoms and potential warning signs to watch out for, as well as screening and prevention strategies. What preventative measures can you take?
Here are 3 preventative measures you should take for gynecological cancer awareness:
Schedule a regular screening with your healthcare provider.
Keep a symptoms diary.
There are tons of apps that can help track female reproductive cycles and symptoms. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have concerns about any of your symptoms. It’s recommended by the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition that if symptoms don’t go away within two weeks following normal interventions such as laxatives, rest, or changing diet and exercise, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Learn about your family history.
It’s not uncommon for women who have had breast cancer or have a family history of ovarian, breast or colorectal cancer to be at a higher risk for developing gynecological cancers.
How can you raise awareness?
- Join the Foundation for Women’s Cancer on September 26th, 2021 for a live one-hour, fully virtual and highly interactive exercise event that strives to raise funds for awareness, education, outreach and research of gynecologic cancers.
- Educate yourself and your daughters to recognize warning signs, and learn if there are things you can do to reduce your risk. By creating an open dialog, it will help ensure that they are taking a proactive role in their own health and even possibly teach future generations to come.