GYNECOLOGIC CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
Each September, Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month focuses on sharing information about symptoms, treatment, risk factors, prevention, clinical trials, and survivors’ stories.
Every six minutes, a woman receives a diagnosis of gynecological cancer. It may come in the form of several cancers under this category:
- Ovarian cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Vulvar cancer
- Vaginal cancer
- Cervical cancer
Different symptoms point toward a particular type of cancer. However, some of the symptoms overlap. Symptoms of gynecologic cancers include:
- Spotting between cycles or bleeding unrelated to a period
- Weight loss
- Extreme fatigue
- Pain and discomfort in the pelvic area
- Frequent urination
- Heavy or long periods
- Itching or pain on the external genitals
- Postmenopausal bleeding
- Irregular cycles
- Skin changes of the external genitals
- Painful intercourse/bleeding after intercourse
- Unusual smelly discharge
- A mass or ulcer on the genitalia
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact your doctor for an appointment. Many cancers are preventable. Regular check-ups, vaccines, healthy diets and exercise, and knowing family history can either prevent cancer or help to catch it early.
The observance also supports advancement in screening methods. While regular pap smears can detect cervical cancer, there are no screening tools for any of the other gynecological cancers.
HOW TO OBSERVE #GynecologicCancerAwarenessMonth
Talk to your loved ones about regular check-ups and gynecologic care. Some of the topics to discuss include:
- Family history – Learn it and share it with those who will benefit from it.
- Routine reminders – Schedule a routine physical with your GYN.
- Support research – Research provides the tools doctors need. It includes prevention, screening methods, treatments, and cures.
- Share survivor stories – If you’re a survivor of gynecologic cancer, share your experience. Hearing your story may lead someone to their doctor and save a life.
- Visit the Foundation for Women’s Cancer to more ways to participate.
Take to social media to join the conversation by using #GynecologicalCancerAwarenessMonth or #GCAM.
GYNECOLOGIC CANCER AWARENESS MONTH HISTORY
Since 2011, the Foundation for Women’s Cancer has promoted Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month to support the increased understanding of symptoms, treatment, and prevention.