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According to the World Health Organization, globally, cancer is the second leading cause of death and is responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in the year 2018. Globally, about 1 in 6 deaths is owing to cancer. The figures are surely alarming and surely early detection and correct diagnosis of cancer is the need of the hour.
Speaking about the ones occurring in women, Dr Rita Bakshi, Senior Gynaecologist and IVF Expert, International Fertility Centre, says, "Any cancer which starts in a woman's reproductive organs can be called as gynaecologic cancers namely cervical, ovarian and uterine cancer. And as a group, they are referred to as gynaecologic cancer. Another type of gynaecologic cancer is the very rare fallopian tube cancer. Here, we are going to brief you about 4 gynaecologic cancers which women should be aware of.
1: Cervical cancer
"This cancer directly outbreaks the cells lining of the cervix. This lining directly opens into the vagina which is called the mouth or the neck of the vagina. It is usually detected with vaginal bleeding after the intercourse, pelvic pain during the intercourse and bloody or watery discharge. This disease can take place because of habits like smoking, having sexual intercourse with several partners, a weak immune system and even Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI s). Hence, It is important for all the women to opt for cervical cancer screening and get themselves checked for the disease," says Dr Bakshi.
2: Ovarian cancer
Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that initiates in the ovaries of a woman. "The female reproductive system comprises of two ovaries. Ovarian cancer often goes undetected until it has spread inside the pelvis and abdomen. This usually happens because of family history, older age, estrogen hormone replacement therapy and even inherited gene mutations. This cancer generally spreads very rapidly in the ovary and is the second most common gynaecological cancer in the urban population. It is essential to talk to your doctor and get a correct treatment," explains Dr Bakshi.
3: Uterine cancer
"This is a type of cancer that begins in the uterus and is common in the peri-menopausal and postmenopausal stages in women. Few symptoms of this condition are abnormal or blood-tinged discharge from the vagina, bleeding between periods, vaginal bleeding after menopause and even unusual heavy bleeding. This usually happens because of more years of menstruation, older age, obesity and changes in the balance of female hormones in the body," highlights Dr Bakshi
4: Fallopian tube cancer
"This is one of the rarest forms of gynaecological cancers and is most common among women who have a history of ovarian or breast cancer. Signs of this condition are abnormal vaginal bleeding, abnormal vaginal discharge and feeling of pressure in the abdomen. So, women try to go for screening and other required tests to rule out the possibility if any.
The take-home message: Women should try to go for screening programmes from time to time. Exercise regularly without fail. Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke. Furthermore, they should also try to maintain healthy body weight.
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