Early detection of cancer makes treatment easier and more successful. Recognise the warning signs of canc
As the name implies, gynecologic cancer or cancer of the female reproductive organs only affects women. It?s a very common form of cancer in women. The name refers to all types of cancer affecting the female reproductive organs; cervical cancer, endometrial or uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, Fallopian tube cancer, vaginal cancer and vulvar cancer. Approximately one million women develop a gynecologic cancer worldwide each year and half a million women die. An important preventive measure, which also enables an effective treatment for any type of cancer, is detection of the early warning signs of cancer. Although certain changes in your body don?t necessarily mean you have cancer, it?s better to pay extra attention to them than to just ignore what your body is trying tell you. Here you can find out more about symptoms you have to pay special attention to.
1. Pain in your lower abdomen
Women usually feel pain or tension in their pelvic area or their lower abdomen before and in the first days of their period, which is nothing unusual. If the pain has no connection with your periods, lasts for a while and you can?t explain its origin, it may be one of the warning signs of cancer of your reproductive organs.
2. Abdominal tension and swelling
Tension and swelling in your abdomen are the two most common warning signs of cancer of the ovaries (ovarian cancer). If you can?t explain them and they?re not linked to your diet or constipation, there?s a chance that they?re symptoms of a serious disease. Sometimes they can be so severe that your clothes barely fit you.
3. Chronic (persistent) lower back pain
This type of pain can be a symptom of ovarian cancer if, of course, other common causes have been ruled out - doing too much exercise or lifting heavy objects incorrectly, for example.
4. Vaginal bleeding
Vaginal bleeding is one of the most common warning signs of cancer of the female reproductive organs. It?s alarming if you bleed between two periods, have heavy periods or bleed between and after vaginal sex.
5. Long-term fever
A high temperature lasting more than a week should be a good enough reason to see your doctor, but there?s no need to panic as fever is also a symptom of many harmless diseases and not just cancer.
6. Irritated stomach and irritated colon
Don?t ignore the changes in your digestion, such as soft and hard feces, blood in feces, flatulence, gases, diarrhea and similar. These changes can be the warning signs of cancer of the colon, rectum and bowel (colorectal cancer) or a gynecologic cancer, so you should see your doctor.
7. Sudden unexplained weight loss
We?re usually glad to lose some weight, but if it occurs unexpectedly and for no apparent reason, it can indicate that there?s something wrong with our health. Weight loss can also be of a psychological origin, but you still have to talk to your doctor if you suddenly lose more than 10 pounds.
8. Vulvar and vaginal changes
You have to pay attention to any changes, such as blisters, swelling, rash, ulcers, a change in skin color and an unusual vaginal discharge. It?s advisable to self-check your vulva and vagina on a regular basis.
9. Breast changes
Although breast cancer isn?t a gynecologic cancer, it?s still one of the most common forms of cancer in women. So, it?s very important that you self-check your breast every month and pay attention to any changes, such as lumps, bulges or bumps, changes in texture or skin color, any discharge from your nipples and so on. If you notice such abnormalities, immediately make an appointment with your doctor.
Exhaustion is one of the frequent warning signs of cancer. Although it?s more common in later stages of cancer, it can also occur in early stages of the disease. So, it?s necessary that you see your doctor if such tiredness prevents you from functioning normally in everyday activities.
The symptoms we mentioned can be the early warning signs of cancer. Having said that, don?t panic because of a minor digestion problem or seasonal tiredness. These warning signs are meant as guidelines to help you take better care of yourself. Every symptom doesn?t imply serious disease, but you still have to pay attention to any unusual changes in your body if they last for a while and there?s no apparent reason or explanation for them.