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  • 14.09.22

September is Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that every two hours an Australian woman is diagnosed with gynaecological cancer? 

September is Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month, an opportunity to raise awareness and encourage women of all ages to learn more about the signs and symptoms of gynaecological cancer and the importance of early detection. 

Our team of specialists at Grace Private want to shed some light on this important topic, so here are a few things you need to know. 

What is gynaecological cancer? 

Gynaecological cancers are cancers that occur in or on female reproductive organs and genitals. Types of gynaecological cancers include: 

  • vulva
  • vagina
  • cervix
  • uterus
  • fallopian tubes.
  • ovaries 

The most common gynaecological cancer

The most common type of gynaecological cancer is uterine or endometrial cancer, followed by ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is often referred to as the silent killer as there are often no symptoms of this disease until it’s in its advanced stages. 

What causes gynaecological cancer? 

There are many different causes of gynaecological cancer including smoking, ageing and environmental influences. In the majority of cases, cervical cancers and some vagina and vulva cancers are caused by HPV, Human Papillomavirus. 

Why early detection is essential

When it comes to gynaecological cancers, early detection is vital. The symptoms are not always easy to recognise, so it’s important to be aware of any changes within your body. 

If you recognise any of the following symptoms, it’s important to make an appointment with your GP. 

  • abdominal pain
  • changes in bowel habits
  • vaginal bleeding between periods or after menopause
  • blood in urine
  • painful sexual intercourse
  • unexplained weight loss

How are gynaecological cancers diagnosed

Gynaecological cancers can be diagnosed by:

  • a cervical screening test
  • a physical examination by your gynaecologist
  • imaging tests
  • blood tests such as a CA125 test
  • A biopsy

At Grace, our gynaecologists offer a specialist service for diagnosing and treating gynaecological cancers including minimally invasive surgery. In particular, our Gynaecological Oncologist has a special interest in precancerous and cancerous conditions. 

When was the last time you had a cervical screening? 

Cervical cancer is the only gynaecological cancer that can be found in a precancerous stage with screening and it’s one of the most preventable cancers. 

A cervical screening test measures the health of your cervix and checks for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) which is connected to the development of cervical cancer. 

This method of testing is more effective than traditional pap smear tests and the number of cervical cancer cases and deaths have almost halved since the national cervical screening program began in 1991.

Many women have been immunised for HPV, but it’s still recommended to have a cervical screening every 5 years if you have a cervix, are aged from 25 to 74 or if you have had sexual contact with another person. 

In light of gynaecological cancer month, we’re encouraging all women to ensure their cervical screening tests are up to date. If you’re due for a cervical screening, make an appointment with your GP right away. 

Don’t have a Gold Coast GP you’re comfortable with? Our Specialist Women’s Health GPs can conduct your next cervical screening. Book online or call (07) 5594 7632.

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