Cancers are on the rise due to various factors. Women are not exception to this. In addition to the breast cancer, women carry the risk of several gynaecological cancers those develop in a woman’s reproductive tract. Cervical cancer is only one type of gynaecological cancer. Other types include ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, vaginal cancer, and vulvar cancer.
There are different risk factors for each of these cancers, including, in some cases, heredity. But many women who develop cancer without being considered high risk. It is important for women to be aware of the types of gynaecological cancer, symptoms and potential warning signs to watch out for, and screening and prevention strategies.
Dr Wong Chiung Ing has been actively involved in clinical and translational research, particularly first-in-human clinical trials exploring novel therapies for patients with cancer. She is a Senior Consultant, Medical Oncology at Parkway Cancer Centre, Singapore with a special interest in breast and gynaecological cancers. She recently discussed about the gynaecological cancers and how to fight with them.
Dr Wong emphasised the correct diagnosis of gynaecological cancers because the same symptoms may not always present with the cancers. There are benign conditions which can be treated. Also, there are some peritonial cancers which arise from the region of gynaecological area. So, proper and early diagnosis is very crucial.
Dr Wong mentioned that the commonest gynaecological cancer is cervical cancer in Bangladesh, while the greatest killer for women is the breast cancer all over the world. She opined that one of the reasons behind it might be the early marriage of girls and women in Bangladesh, but women hardly go for screening of cervical cancer. The guideline is women should be screened for cervical cancer after three years of their first sexual activity and that should be continued at a regular interval. Women need to be aware about the screening to reduce the number of cervical cancers.
Dr Wong suggested that women should visit gynaecologists if there is any abnormality in the reproductive organs varying from abnormal menstrual bleeding to abdominal cramp in an abnormal fashion and for prolonged period of time.
There are several diagnostic tools that can easily detect gynaecological cancers. Women just need to be concerned for abnormal phenomenon.
Also, there are more options for treatment from before. Those could be magical if any case is detected early. As prevention is better than cure, she advised women to take measures earlier including lifestyle modifications.