National Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month
The beginning of September marks the start of National Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month. Each year in the United States approximately 110,000 women are diagnosed with one of the 5 major gynecologic cancers: cervical, ovarian, endometrial, vulvar or vaginal. Risk factors and symptoms vary between cancers so it is critical to book annual wellness appointments with your primary care physician. Ensure that if you are 21+ to ask for annual Pap smears and if 30+ include HPV testing as these tests can help detect early signs of cervical cancer.
According to CDC guidelines contact your primary care provider if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms as they could indicate some form of gynecologic cancer:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- More frequent or urgent need to urinate and/or constipation
Itching, burning, pain, or tenderness of the vulva, and changes in vulva color or skin