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            The Aga Khan University Hospital Pakistan

Gynaecological Cancers | Prevention and Treatment

<div>​Women are at risk for developing gynecological cancers, and its probability increases with age. 
</div><div>In Pakistan Gynaecological cancers contribute 12-15% of all cancers. Common types of Gynaecological cancers include Cervical, Ovarian and Uterine.</div><div>
</div><div><span style="color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000; font-size: 17.3333px;"><strong>General Symptoms of Gynaecological Cancers</strong></span></div><div><ul><li>Vaginal bleeding that is not menstrual bleeding</li><li>Post-menopausal bleeding</li><li>Itching, swelling, and pain in pelvic area</li><li>Abdominal distention and pain
</div><div><strong style="font-size: 17.3333px; color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000;"><span style="color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000;">Cervical Cancer: Symptoms and Prevention</span></strong></div><div>Cervical cancer develops in the lining of the cervix (the neck of the womb).</div><div>Symptoms and signs may include:</div><div>
</div><div><ul><li>Blood spots or light bleeding between or following periods.</li><li>Menstrual bleeding that is longer and heavier than usual.</li><li>Bleeding after intercourse, douching, or a pelvic examination.</li><li>Increased vaginal discharge.</li><li>Pain during sexual intercourse.</li><li>Bleeding after menopause.
</li><li>Unexplained, persistent pelvic and/or back pain.</li></ul></div><div>
</div><div>Cervical cancer is a preventable disease. It has become largely preventable in developed countries through the introduction of effective screening and vaccination programs. Due to lack of awareness, less developed countries account for more than 80% of cervical cancer cases.</div><div>
</div><div>Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is known to be the most common reason for cervical cancer. It is a commonly occurring infection in women during their reproductive age. HPV can be identified by a <em>Pap smear test</em> and <em>HPV test</em> every 3 to 5 years and successfully treated with the preservation of fertility if required.</div><div>
</div><div><em>HPV vaccine</em> is available worldwide and advised for girls and women from 9 to 26 years of age. Older women can also get this vaccination after discussing it with their gynaecologist. Please ask your Family Medicine Doctor or Gynaecologist about getting this vaccine.</div><div>
</div><div><span style="font-size: 17.3333px; color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000;"><span style="color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000;"><strong>Ovarian Cancer: Symptoms and Prevention</strong></span></span></div><div>Ovarian cancer is usually a “silent disease”. Most of its symptoms are nonspecific, which makes it challenging to identify at an early stage. Symptoms may include: </div><div>
</div><div><ul><li>Abdominal pain
</li><li>Abdominal distention or bloating</li><li>Early satiety, weight loss</li><li>and / or any change in urinary or bowel habits
</div><div>If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please consult your gynaecologist immediately. </div><div>
</div><div>Early diagnosis and treatment is likely to be beneficial. In addition, patients who have family history of ovarian cancer may discuss the need of genetic testing with their physician. Sometimes, genetic tests help in identifying the risk of developing such cancers.</div><div>
</div><div><span style="color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000; font-size: 17.3333px;"><strong>Uterine Cancer: Symptoms and Prevention</strong></span></div><div>It is commonly called as womb cancer, endometrial cancer, uterine cancer or cancer of the uterus. The endometrium is the lining of the womb, where most womb cancers start.</div><div>Uterine cancer is strongly related to age, with 75% of diagnoses occurring in women above the age of 55 years.  Symptoms usually include:
</div><div><ul><li>Vaginal bleeding after one year of menopause </li><li>Abnormal vaginal bleeding in premenopausal woman </li><li>Vaginal discharge </li><li>Abdominal pain
</div><div>The most common risk factor for this cancer is excess body weight, Type 2 diabetes, and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Lifestyle modifications including weight loss and managing diabetes help in preventing this disease.  
</div><div><span style="font-size: 17.3333px; color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000;"><strong style="color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000;"><span style="color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000;">Treatment Options for Gynaecological Cancers</span></strong></span></div><div>Treatment of Gynaecological cancers depends on the site of cancer, the extent of the disease spread, and the general health condition of the patient. Treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and/or other biologic agents. If Gynaecological cancers are diagnosed at a stage when it is localized, treatment can be curative and patients can live a long time. However, at an advanced stage when surgery is not feasible, palliative treatment with chemotherapy and radiation therapy can be provided to improve symptoms and quality of life. 
</div><div><strong style="font-size: 17.3333px; color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000;"><span style="color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000;">Facilities Available at AKUH for Screening, Early Diagnosis and Treatment</span></strong></div><div><ol><li>Dedicated clinics by Gynecology-Oncology experts</li><li>Hysteroscopy for the detection of Endometrial cancer
</li><li>Pap smear and HPV tests</li><li>Colposcopy for the treatment of Cervical Cancer</li><li>Minimal access surgery for early-stage Endometrial Cancer
</div><div><em style="font-size: 12px;">References: </em></div><div><ul><li><em style="font-size: 12px;">Globocan 2018 Pakistan. International agency for cancer research. WHO.</em></li><li><em style="font-size: 12px;">American cancer society website.</em></li></ul></div>
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