Cancer, the most dreaded disease of all, is seen as the leading cause of death worldwide. Generically tagged under lifestyle disease, cancer has evolved rapidly over the past few decades. This deadly disease, which was formerly dubbed as a death sentence for anyone diagnosed with it, still poses as a great threat to our well-being and health. Over the past few years, it has emerged as a big life risk for women. Are you aware that nearly 46,000 women die of breast cancer every year? Cancers of breast, uterus and cervix are common among women today. Mostly women above 50 years are vulnerable to developing any kind of cancer. Anyone with a family history of breast cancer and late pregnancy is prone to the risk of this fatal disease. However, the good news is that almost 30% of death can be prevented in most case with early diagnosis and quick treatment. Here are some of the most common types of cancer that affects women. Read on to educate yourself more on it.
Different Kinds Of Cancer In Women
Did you know that breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women aged between 40-55 years? Despite of many groundbreaking advances and umpteenth attempts to spread awareness on breast cancer, it remains as the biggest threat to women’s life and well-being till date. Though the general symptoms of breast cancer usually vary from person to person, symptoms like flat or inverted nipple, swollen breast or itchy, red and blotchy nipples and even dimpled skin in the breast needs are common. What’s worse, most of the times breast cancer strikes without any obvious symptoms, making it difficult to treat it on time. An early checkup is what it takes to nip the bud. Remember, all women are at risk of developing breast cancer and over 70% have no identifiable risk factors. So, don’t forget to go for a regular check up to ensure that you stay safe and healthy.
Cervical cancer is one of the deadliest cancer forms responsible for the growing ratio of women’s death every year. This type of cancer usually comes without any preliminary signs or symptoms, making it hard to diagnose initially. Only when the cancer starts affecting the nearby tissues, leading to profuse vaginal bleeding, that one gets the first hint of any complication. Some of the common symptoms of cervical cancer are abnormal bleeding even after menopause, unexplained heavy bleeding between periods, bleeding after intercourse or a pelvic exam, or menstrual bleeding that lasts longer and heavier than usual. Foul smelling vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, pain during urination, sudden weight loss and persistent fatigue are other symptoms of cervical cancer. Going for regular check-ups, pelvic exam and PAP test is the only way to diagnose this disease on its early stages and thwart of life risk in most cases.
Uterine cancer or Endometrial cancer is another common type of cancer that hits the inner lining of the uterus, called endometrium. Uterine cancer most often occurs after or around the time when menopause begins. Women above 50 years and more are at a bigger risk of getting uterine cancer. Abnormal vaginal bleeding is the first big symptom of this form of cancer. Most often women mistake this abnormal bleeding with the onset of menopause, which can be dangerous. Women suffering from endometrial hyperplasia, high blood pressure and obesity are more likely to be victims of this kind of cancer. Females who started menstruating before the tender age of 12 and those afflicted with late menopause are more exposed to the threat of uterine cancer. However, the good news is that this kind of cancer is curable with surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Gestational Trophoblastic Tumor
A gestational trophoblastic tumor (GTT) is characterized by an abnormal growth of the placenta in a woman's uterus that occurs mostly after a pregnancy. Although it is a rare form of cancer, gestational trophoblastic tumors can be treated once diagnosed. Women suffering from GTT are likely to show symptoms like vaginal bleeding after a seemingly normal delivery, a large uterine size, and high blood pressure during the early stages of pregnancy. Sometimes the symptoms can appear weeks, months and even years after pregnancy. Ultrasound, Pelvic Exam, CT or CAT scan or Beta human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) blood test can be done for an early diagnosis.
A woman runs a great risk of developing ovarian cancer during her lifetime and even higher chances of getting killed by it. It is one of the leading causes of cancer death in women. Acquainting yourself to the symptoms of ovarian cancer leads to an early diagnosis that can prove to be a life saving at times. Quite often, women afflicted with this kind of cancer never really show any signs of it beforehand. What’s even worse is that its initial symptoms mimic gastrointestinal illness and indigestion, making it even more difficult to diagnose it initially. The most common symptoms of ovarian cancer in women includes general abdominal discomfort like gas, bloating and cramps, nausea, diarrhea, frequent urination, sudden loss of weight, loss of appetite and more.The main treatments for ovarian cancer are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation or a combination of the three.
Vaginal cancer is one of the rare forms of cancer that forms in the vaginal tissue of women. The root cause of this kind of cancer is not fully understood. However, this cancer is most common in women aged above 60 years. Also anyone having a cervical cancer has higher chances of getting this rare form of cancer. The main cause of vaginal cancers is human papillomavirus (HPV) that is sexually transmitted virus and associated with genital warts.
Vulvar cancer is a rare type of cancer that occurs in a woman's external genitals, called the vulva. This cancer usually develops slowly over several years and is curable. Primary carcinoma of the vulva (the external female genital organs) usually hits women over 50 and usually arises from the labia majora or labia minora. The initial signs include a lump on the vulva or perineum. The diagnosis is made by examination of a specimen of tissues and can be treated with the help of radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery.