Posts Tagged ‘pelvic pain’

What Do You Know About Cervical Health?

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month

The human papillomavirus, or HPV, is responsible for nearly all cases of cervical cancer in the U.S. HPV is very common and is spread through sexual activity, which is why it is recommended that pre-teens received the HPV vaccine.

According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, roughly 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the U.S. each year. A pap test can detect potentially dangerous changes in cervical cells that might indicate cancer. Since certain genotypes of HPV are responsible for approximately 70% of cervical cancers, testing for these particular variations can help your physician better assess your risk and determine the right screening schedule for you.

According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, symptoms can include any of the following:

  • Abnormal bleeding, such as bleeding between regular menstrual periods, after intercourse, or after menopause
  • Pelvic pain not related to your menstrual cycle
  • Heavy or unusual discharge that may be watery, thick, and possibly have a foul odor
  • Increased urinary frequency
  • Pain during urination

The good news is that cervical cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer, so make sure you talk to your doctor about getting the screening you need to identify or prevent this disease.

For more information on cervical health, visit the National Cervical Cancer Coalition’s website.

 

Ovarian Cancer Facts and Symptoms

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Ovarian cancer does not have the awareness level that some cancers of the female reproductive system have, but according to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, it is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death in women ages 35-74. Early detection is critical to beating this disease. Unfortunately, the symptoms of ovarian cancer are vague and there are few early detection tests, which means less than 20% of diagnoses are made in the early stages of the disease (National Ovarian Cancer Coalition).

So what can you do to protect yourself? The best way is to know the symptoms and take action if you notice a change in your body that persists for more than a few weeks. The American Cancer Society recommends you visit your doctor if you experience any combination of the following symptoms more than 12 times a month:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • Urinary symptoms such as urgency (always feeling like you have to go) or frequency (having to go often)
  • Fatigue
  • Upset stomach
  • Back pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Constipation
  • Menstrual changes
  • Abdominal swelling with weight loss

There are certain risk factors for ovarian cancer. Some include a family history of ovarian, breast or colorectal cancers, obesity, and those who have taken hormone replacement therapy—for a full list visit the American Cancer Society’s website. Please help spread the word about this disease. Early detection makes all the difference!