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Cheat Sheet for Women’s Cancers

- 14 January 2009, 10:01

From CancerSchmancer.org

In the United States there are more than 78,000 newly diagnosed cases of uterine, ovarian, and cervical cancer annually, the three most common gynecologic cancers. Each cancer may have a variety of symptoms and associated risk factors.

Risk Factors for Gynecological Cancers

  • I am not getting screened regularly with a Pap test
  • I am at high-risk for human papillomaviruses (HPV)
  • I smoke
  • I am very overweight
  • I eat a diet high in fat.
  • I am a woman older than age 60
  • I started menstruating at an early age—before age 12
  • I take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drugs

Warning Symptoms for Gynecologic Cancers

  • Indigestion, heartburn, nausea, or gas
  • Abdominal swelling or discomfort
  • Pelvic pain or cramping
  • Bloating or a sense of fullness, even after small meals
  • Backache
  • Painful, frequent, or burning urination with no infection
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Loss of appetite or unintentional weight loss or gain
  • Vaginal bleeding or irregular periods
  • Pain during intercourse

If symptoms last more than 2-3 weeks, schedule a gynecologic exam right away. Request a Pap test, CA 125 blood test, and a transvaginal ultrasound. Remember: Early detection equals survival!

Contact The National Women’s Health Information Center for information on health insurance coverage or free clinics. Visit www.womenshealth.gov or call 1-800-994-9662.


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