Gynaecological cancers start in the female reproductive system. There are five: cervical, ovarian, and the less-known womb, vulval and vaginal cancers.
Cancer which develops in cervix is called cervical cancer. Two major types of cervical cancers diagnosed in women include adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Almost all types of cervical cancer are caused by human papiloma virus (HPV). Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer among women and the second most frequent cause of cancer-related death, accounting for almost 3,00,000 deaths annually.
According to article published by Mirror on September 26 2016 Cervical, cancer is a sexually transmitted disease that can be prevented by early detection and vaccination.
Many lifestyle-related factors, such as having multiple sex partners, smoking, obesity, unsafe sex, inherited HPV positive patients (hereditary risk) increase the chance of developing cervical cancer, as well as low immunity.
Many women do experience early warning signs but downplay or ignore them. Common symptoms include:
■ Irregular bleeding (e.g. between periods, after menopause or after sex) or unusual bleeding (e.g. heavier than usual).
■ Persistent abdominal pressure and/or bloating (i.e. it doesn’t come and go).
■ Vaginal discharge that may be blood stained or different in appearance.
■ Changes in bowel or urinary habits that last for more than a month, e.g. needing to pass water more often than usual.
Some symptoms can be confused with other conditions, i.e. bloating associated with irritable bowel syndrome. This is why it’s so important for women to know their own bodies, including knowing what’s normal and what’s not, and to seek help if experiencing anything unusual.
Almost three-quarters of cases of womb cancer are in women aged 40 to 74, and most who are diagnosed with womb cancer have had the menopause.
However, there are cases of women who get womb cancer before menopause. For example, although rare, some womb cancer cases can be caused by genes you were born with. This is called Lynch syndrome.
Some people believe that taking the contraceptive pill, the pill can increase the risk of cervical cancer, and this increase seems to go back to normal once you stop taking it. In fact, taking the pill can lower the risk of other cancers, including womb and ovarian cancers.
Some of symptoms of this cancer like bleeding between periods is normal, which also happens when there is a change in the pill, having a coil or implant inserted or hormonal changes. However, it is always worth getting abnormal bleeding checked out – unusual or unexpected vaginal bleeding is a symptom associated with all five gynaecological cancers.
While offering the HPV vaccine to young women can prevent contract of cervical cancer but some researchers believe that it promotes teenage promiscuity.