In the United States there are more than 78,000 newly diagnosed cases of uterine, ovarian, and cervical cancer annually, the three most common gynecologic cancers. Each cancer may have a variety of symptoms and associated risk factors.
Risk Factors for Gynecological Cancers
- I am not getting screened regularly with a Pap test
- I am at high-risk for human papillomaviruses (HPV)
- I smoke
- I am very overweight
- I eat a diet high in fat.
- I am a woman older than age 60
- I started menstruating at an early ageвЂ”before age 12
- I take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drugs
Warning Symptoms for Gynecologic Cancers
- Indigestion, heartburn, nausea, or gas
- Abdominal swelling or discomfort
- Pelvic pain or cramping
- Bloating or a sense of fullness, even after small meals
- Painful, frequent, or burning urination with no infection
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Loss of appetite or unintentional weight loss or gain
- Vaginal bleeding or irregular periods
- Pain during intercourse
If symptoms last more than 2-3 weeks, schedule a gynecologic exam right away. Request a Pap test, CA 125 blood test, and a transvaginal ultrasound. Remember: Early detection equals survival!
Contact The National WomenвЂ™s Health Information Center for information on health insurance coverage or free clinics. Visit www.womenshealth.gov or call 1-800-994-9662.