Each year, more than 88,000 women in the US are diagnosed with gynecologic cancer — such as cervical, ovarian, and uterine cancer — according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The gynecologic oncologists and specially trained nurse navigators at St. Joseph's Cancer Institute are dedicated to the prevention and treatment of all forms of gynecologic cancer in Stockton, CA and the surrounding areas.
If you have gynecologic cancer or are worried you’re at risk, take a moment to become familiar with the common symptoms of gynecologic cancer. To learn more about the advanced diagnostic testing services at Dignity Health, Find a Doctor. Our experts can provide the right care for you.
Gynecological Cancer Symptoms
Understanding the symptoms of gynecologic cancer can help you be aware of early warning signs.
Common gynecological cancer symptoms include:
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Itching or burning of the vulva
- Changes in vulva color or skin (rash, sores, warts, or ulcers)
- Changes in bathroom habits (increased urination, constipation, or diarrhea)
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge
- Pain in the back or stomach
Many women are unaware of the symptoms of gynecologic cancer. It is important to take the time to understand them and be able to recognize them if and when they occur. Talk with your doctor if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above.
Ways to Prevent Gynecologic Cancer or Detect It Early with Dignity Health
While there is no guaranteed way to prevent gynecologic cancer, you can reduce your risk factors by following these important steps.
- Understand your body. If you have symptoms that are not normal for you and that last for two weeks or more, talk with your doctor.
- Get routine Pap tests. This test can help your doctor find precancerous changes on your cervix. All women aged 21 to 65 should get regular Pap tests as directed by your doctor.
- Know your family history. If you or a family member has a history of ovarian cancer, your doctor may suggest genetic testing and counseling.
- Protect yourself from HPV. If an HPV infection doesn’t go away, it can increase your risk of developing gynecologic cancer. Talk to your doctor about the HPV test and vaccines to protect against the HPV strains that cause cervical, vulvar, and vaginal cancers.
- Choose healthy lifestyle choices. Pursuing an active lifestyle and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce your risk factors for certain gynecologic cancers, including uterine and ovarian cancer. Not smoking, eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and practicing safe sex can also help. Ask your doctor about the support groups we offer to encourage your overall health and well-being.
Oncologists at St. Joseph's Cancer Institute specialize in the treatment of gynecologic cancer in Stockton, CA and the surrounding areas.