When it comes to cancer, we think of lung and breast cancer as the most common forms. However, gynecological cancers are also a serious concern in the Philippines. In fact, these types of cancers account for about 15% of all new cancer cases diagnosed in women every year. Gynecological cancers include cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine (endometrial) cancer, vaginal cancer, and vulvar cancer. In this article, we’ll explain what these cancers are and how they can be detected early on so that treatment can begin as soon as possible.
What is gynecological cancer?
Gynecological cancers are those that affect the reproductive organs of women.
There are several types of gynecological cancer, including:
- Cervical cancer – this is by far the most common type of gynecological cancer. It affects over 60% of Filipinas and results in about 1,000 deaths a year. It can be treated through surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
- Ovarian cancer – this is another very common type of gynecological cancer affecting about 9% of Filipinas annually, with about 1% dying from it every year. Treatment for ovarian cancer varies depending on the stage at which it’s diagnosed and whether or not there are any symptoms present at all (not all people with ovarian tumors experience symptoms).
How do you treat gynecological cancer?
The treatment you get will depend on the type of cancer you have. Cervical cancer is treated with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Ovarian cancer is treated with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Uterine cancer is treated with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
The type of treatment also depends on when your gynecological cancer started (early-stage or late-stage). If it’s early-stage and hasn’t spread beyond the uterus or ovaries yet then these treatments are usually successful in curing the disease:
- Surgery—removing an organ such as a kidney or part of a lung to treat kidney failure or lung cancer
- Radiation—using high energy X-rays to kill tumor cells without damaging healthy ones
How do doctors test for gynecological cancer?
In the Philippines, cervical cancer screening is done through the Pap smear test.
The Pap smear test checks for cancer cells on your cervix, as well as changes in your cervical cells that may be a sign of cervical cancer.
This test can find most cancers in their early stages when they’re easier to treat. It can also help detect precancerous cells before they become cancerous and cause problems later on.
Gynecological cancers can be treated by expert oncologists if detected early.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with gynecological cancer, know that it’s not the end of the world. Gynecological cancers can be treated by expert oncologists if detected early. The key is to not delay in seeking treatment if you see signs or experience symptoms that are out of the ordinary for you.
In conclusion, gynecological cancer is a very serious condition that can affect women at any age. If you notice any unusual symptoms, see a doctor immediately so the disease does not spread in your body and cause more damage.