The most important thing any woman can do to lower her risk of a gynecologic cancer is reduce the known risk factors and follow screening guidelines for detecting the cancer at its earliest stage.
Gynecologic cancers are cancers of the female reproductive system and include the uterus, cervix, ovary, vulva and vagina.
Endometrial cancers are the most common gynecologic cancers, followed by ovarian cancers. Endometrial cancers develop in the lining of the cervix and uterus respectively. Ovarian cancer can develop on the external surface of the ovary or inside the ovary itself.
Learn more about each of these cancers:
Cancer screenings are medical tests that are performed when a person has no symptoms. For two of the most common gynecologic cancers, endometrial and ovarian, screening is not usually recommended.
Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center recommends that women at average risk should be aware of symptoms and seek prompt medical care if symptoms persist.
For women with Lynch Syndrome, an annual endometrial sampling is recommended beginning at age 35.
For women with Hereditary Ovarian Cancer Syndrome, annual or semi-annual pelvic exam, CA -125 blood test and transvaginal ultrasound may be considered on the advice of their physician.