Historically, cancer affects women less frequently than men. The National Cancer Institute estimates that one in three women are going to be diagnosed with cancer during her lifetime, while one in two men will receive the diagnosis. Women also tend to survive the disease more often than men.
Studies have found that these differences in incidence and outcome could also be attributed to the very fact that men are diagnosed with cancer more often within the first place, and to the fact that a lot of of the lifestyle-related risk factors for cancer, like smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and eating fatty foods, have traditionally been more prevalent among men. Whatever the cause, differences exist when it involves men and ladies and cancer, and that they often start with anatomy.
Some cancers only affect women because they develop during a woman’s genital system , which incorporates the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, cervix, vagina and vulva.
Gynecologic cancers include:
Ø Uterine cancer
Ø Ovarian cancer
Ø Cervical cancer
Ø Vaginal cancer
Ø Vulvar cancer
Although carcinoma isn't a disease that only affects women, it's the foremost common cancer—after skin cancer—affecting women within the us . The cancer is, in fact, 100 times more common in women than in men.
Risk factors and prevention
Several factors increase a woman’s risk of developing a gynecologic or breast cancer. Some of these factors include:
Ø A family history of breast, ovarian or uterine cancer
Ø Childbirth after age 30 of first child
Ø Hormone replacement therapy
Ø Radiation exposure, particularly at an early age
Ø Genetic mutations (for example, BRCA1 and BRCA2)
Ø An unhealthy weight
Preventing gynecologic or breast cancers isn’t always possible, but taking measures like eating a diet , maintaining a healthy weight and interesting in regular physical activity may help.
Screening and diagnosis
Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) accounts for around 34,000 cancers each year. HPV infection is typically linked to cancers of the cervix, vulva and vagina in women, but also to certain head and neck cancers. For this reason, most cervical cancer screenings today include Pap and HPV tests, and both girls and boys are encouraged to urge the HPV vaccine starting at age 11.
Mammography is that the commonest screening tool for carcinoma , but women with a high risk of the disease could also be screened using an MRI.
Diagnostic tools used for gynecologic and breast cancers often include:
Ø Imaging tests, like X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, PET scans and ultrasounds
Ø Lab tests, like blood work and advanced genomic testing
Ø Pelvic exams
Ø Pap tests
10 cancer symptoms women are likely to ignore
Women might not notice certain cancer symptoms, or may attribute them to other, less serious causes. But when these symptoms persist for longer than two weeks, they may be signs of cancer. Some of these often-ignored symptoms include:
Ø Blood in the stool, which may be a sign of colorectal cancer
Ø Changes in the skin around the breast, which can be a sign of breast cancer
Ø Unusual bleeding, which may be a sign of a gynecologic cancer
Ø Bloating, which may be a sign of ovarian or uterine cancer
Ø Chronic coughing, which may be a sign of lung cancer or leukemia
Ø Skin changes, which may be a sign of skin cancer
Ø Unexplained bruises, which may be a sign of leukemia
Ø Frequent fevers or infection, which may be a sign of leukemia
Cancer side effects and women
Each woman’s experience with cancer and its treatments is different, but many treatments carry the danger of affecting a woman’s fertility. For example, surgery for a gynecologic cancer may harm reproductive tissues and cause scarring, and chemotherapy may affect the ovaries’ ability to release eggs and estrogen. Whether a woman’s fertility is suffering from treatments generally depends on many factors, like her age at the time of treatment, the length of treatment and her overall health. These issues should be discussed with her doctor.
Other side effects women commonly experience include:
Ø Difficulties with sexual function, such as vaginal dryness and less energy for sex
Ø Body image issues, whether from hair loss or scars from breast cancer surgery
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