Perhaps you have heard of the term cervical cancer when you asked your doctor about HPV vaccinations, but there are also other forms of gynecologic cancers that women must be aware of such as uterine and ovarian cancer.
Also called endometrial cancer, it includes symptoms such as pelvic pain, painful intercourse, unexplained weight loss, bleeding or spotting, and unusual discharges. Sometimes, the woman might also have a mass or tumor in the affected area. There is no known cause for uterine cancer, but it has been observed that most of the women with the condition have very high levels of estrogen. Uterine cancer may be similar to cervical cancer because they both begin in the uterus, but the specific locations are different. Uterine cancer is first found in the endometrium, while cervical cancer starts in the lower part of the uterus or the surface of the cervix. Unlike cervical cancer, uterine cancer can be difficult to detect because there are no standard tests and doctors usually rely on the symptoms described by the patients.
This is a type of cancer that primarily affects the reproductive glands, but diagnosis of the illness can be difficult because some women can also have non-cancerous tumors and low malignant potential tumors in the ovaries. The former is considered benign, but the latter can potentially affect other tissues. There are various types of malignant ovarian tumors, but all of them exhibit the same symptoms, such as; pelvic pain, abdominal pain, bloating, urinary issues, and menstrual problems. Scholars still cannot point out what causes ovarian cancer, but there are studies that show that a woman is at risk if certain gene mutations are present.
Most cases of cervical cancer begin in the area between the ectocervix and the endocervix. This type of cancer exhibits different symptoms than that of ovarian cancer, such as; pelvic pain, painful urination and increased urination, vaginal bleeding, bleeding between periods or after menopause, and heavy discharges. One common cause of cervical cancer is being infected with a strain of human papillomavirus, specifically HPV-16 and 18. Fortunately, there are HPV vaccines available in Singapore for women who want to give themselves extra protection. Cervical cancer can also be detected earlier than uterine cancer, even if the symptoms are not yet noticeable in the early stages.
Although there are some differences in the symptoms of the three gynecological cancers, there are tests which can detect any of these. If you suspect that you have one of these conditions, talk to your gynecologist in Singapore for the following tests: Pap smear, endometrial tissue sampling, ultrasound, pelvic exam, CT scan, MRI scan, and positron emission. A Pap smear is used for uterine and cervical cancer, the tissue sampling is used for uterine cancer, and pelvic examination can detect abnormalities in any part of the female reproductive system.