When it comes to gynecologic cancers, every woman is at risk. The American Cancer Society estimates more than 98,000 women will be diagnosed in 2015 with a gynecologic cancer with approximately 30,000 dying from the diseases. Bayhealth is observing Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month in September to bring awareness of these cancers.
There are five kinds of gynecologic cancers: cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulvar. The risks for these cancers increase with age, but you can lower your risk for some of these cancers.
Delaware OB/GYN and Women’s Health physician Mark-Anthony C. Umobi, MD, MRCOG, FACOG, said gynecologic cancers, with the exception of cervical cancer, are difficult to diagnose early due to a lack of a good screening tests. While cervical cancer has a screening tool with Pap Smears, other cancers like ovarian and uterine cancer have no such screening test. It’s important, therefore, to pay attention to your body and inform your OB-GYN when symptoms arise.
For ovarian cancer, Dr. Umobi said symptoms can be vague, and include pelvic pain, back pain, bloating, and a change in bathroom habits. The main symptom for uterine cancer is abnormal bleeding. Similar or no symptoms can be noticed initially with vaginal and vulvar cancers. While cervical cancer is preventable thanks to screenings, Dr. Umobi said going to see your OB-GYN on an annual basis and paying attention to symptoms is important in diagnosing and treating gynecologic cancers.
“Having a good relationship with your OB-GYN is important because you’re more likely to ask questions and notify your doctor of the symptoms,” Dr. Umobi said. “Pay attention to your body and go see your doctor if you notice any changes because the cause of the symptoms could be serious.”
To make an appointment with Dr. Umobi at Delaware OB/GYN and Women’s Health, please call 302-730-0633. For a complete listing of Medical Staff providers who provide OB-GYN services, call our physician referral line at 1-866-BAY-DOCS.