The results of the latest research show that most women do not know the symptoms of gynecological cancers, and especially pay no attention to the signs associated with the reproductive organs, such as back pain and frequent urination.
There are 5 main gynecological cancers:
- cervical cancer
- cancer of uterine body
- ovarian cancer
- vaginal cancer
- vulvar cancer
Therefore, their early detection depends on how women know and recognize symptoms and signs of these malignant diseases and if they have their medical examination appointment on time.
“Our results show that there is a great need for better awareness and education of women considering the symptoms of gynecological cancers. If women are better informed they would be able to ask for medical help on time,” said Dr. Cynthia Gelb, health communications specialist at the Center for Control and Prevention of Diseases.
“Many cancer symptoms may be common for benign conditions as well. Therefore you must not be anxious and scared. The only way to find out what is really causing the symptoms is to go to the doctor,” says Dr. Gelb.
According to the National Cancer Institute more than 90,000 gynecological cancer cases will be diagnosed in the United States in 2013, and more than half will be cervical cancer cases. This year about 30,000 women will die as a result of these cancer types. The deadliest of all gynecological cancers is ovarian cancer, which will cause about half of all death cases.
During the study, researchers examined 132 women aged 40 to 60. Each of the respondents was given a list of eight symptoms of gynecological cancers, without using the word “symptom”.
Each respondent marked which symptom would worry her most, and then the groups discussed what may cause each of symptoms. Symptoms that the majority of women would be concerned about were: unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge.
Five symptoms that a very small number of women identified as potential cancer symptoms are: vaginal itching or burning sensation, back pain or abdominal pain, constant fatigue, frequent urination and bloating.
These symptoms, and many others as well, can not always be considered as alarming, because they are common and can not always be considered as potential signs of serious disease.
Crucial for the recognition of such symptoms is women to know what is normal for them, and when the symptoms are uncommon and represent a good reason for visiting the doctor,” said the researchers.