September Cancer Awareness Month Part II. : Prostate Cancer, Ovarian Cancer and Gynecologic Cancer Awareness

September Cancer Awareness Month Part II. : Prostate Cancer, Ovarian Cancer and Gynecologic Cancer Awareness

 

Prostate Cancer

prostatecancerribbon

Prostate Cancer- Cancer that forms in the tissues of the prostate ( a gland in the male reproductive system found below the bladder and in front of the rectum.)

Prostate Cancer Facts:

  • Prostate cancer usually occurs in older men.
  • Can invade nearby organs
  • Can spread to other areas of the body
  • Often can be removed but sometimes grows back

Symptoms and Signs

  • Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms.
  • Problems passing urine (including slow or weak urinary stream or the need to urinate more often, especially at night)
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Trouble getting an erection
  • Pain in the hips, back (spine), chest (ribs), or other areas from cancer spread to bones
  • Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

Prevention: The exact cause of Prostate cancer is not known at this time it is not known at this time it is not possible to prevent most cases of the disease.

Helpful Links:http://www.prostateconditions.org/
http://www.pcf.org/site/c.leJRIROrEpH/b.5699537/k.BEF4/Home.htm
http://prostatenet.org/
Gynecologic Cancers: Ovarian, Cervical, Uterine, Vaginal and Vulvar Cancer

gyn cancers
Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer- A growth of abnormal malignant cells that begins in the ovaries.

Facts about Ovarian Cancer:
Ovarian cancer accounts for approximately 3% of cancers in women
Cause is unknown but some theories exist: Genetic errors may occur because of damage from the normal monthly release of an egg. Increased hormone levels before and during ovulation may stimulate the growth of abnormal cells.

Types of Ovarian Cancer:

Epithelial Tumors- 90% of Ovarian cancers develop in the epithelium, the thin layer of the tissue that covers the ovaries. This form generally occurs in post menopausal women.

Germ Cell Carcinoma Tumors- 5% of Ovarian cancers begins in the cells that form eggs. Can occur in women of any age, tend to be found in women in their early 20’s. 6 main types of germ cell carcinoma exist, the 3 most common types are teratomas, dysgerminomas and endodermal sinus tumors.

Stromal Carcinoma Tumors- Accounts for 5% of Ovarian cancers. Develops in the connective tissue cells that hold the ovary together and those that produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. 2 most common types are granulosa cell tumors and sertoli-leydig cell tumors.

Small Cell Carcinoma of the Ovary (SCCO)- A rare, highly malignant tumor that affects mainly young women. Subtypes of SCCO include pulmonary, neuro-endocrine and hypercalcemic. Accounts for 0.1% of Ovarian cancers.

Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Urinary urgency or frequency
  • Difficulty eating of feeling full quickly

Prevention:
Oral contraceptives- The use of oral contraceptives decreases the risk of developing ovarian cancer especially when used for several years.

Helpful Links:http://www.ovariancancer.org/
Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer- Starts in a woman’s cervix. I begins when normal cells on the surface of the cervix change and grow uncontrollably forming a tumor.
2 Main types of Cervical cancer named for the type of cell where the cancer started. Other types of cervical cancers are rare.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma- which makes up about 80-90% of all cervical cancers

Adenocarcinoma-  which makes up about 10-20% of all cervical cancers.

 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Most women do not have any signs or symptoms of a precancer or early stage cervical cancer. Symptoms do not appear until the cancer has spread to other tissues and organs.
  • Blood spots or light bleeding between or following periods
  • Menstrual bleeding that is longer or heavier than usual
  • Bleeding after intercourse, douching or a pelvic examination
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Bleeding after menopause
  • Increased vaginal discharge

Prevention: Getting an annual physical examination, pap tests and pelvic examinations.

Helpful Links: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/cervical
Uterine Cancer

Uterine Cancer-Most common cancer of a woman’s reproductive system. It begins when normal cells in the uterus change and grow uncontrollably forming a tumor.

2 Major Types of Uterine Cancer:

Adenocarcinoma-This type of cancer makes up more than 95% off uterine cancers. It develops from cells in the lining of the uterus, the endrometrium. This cancer is also commonly called endometrial cancer.
Sarcoma-This form of uterine cancer develops in the myonetrium (the uterine muscle) or in the supporting tissues of the uterine glands. Sarcoma accounts for 2-4% of uterine cancers.
Less common types:
Carcinosarcoma-Starts in the endrometrium and is similar to both adenocarcinoma and sarcoma
Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma-Starts in the connective tissue of the endometrium.
Signs and Symptoms:

  • Uterine cancer is most likely to occur after menopause. Most common symptom is vaginal bleeding.
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding, spotting or discharge
  • Difficulty or pain when urinating
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Pain in the pelvic area

Prevention: Research shows that certain factors can lower the risk of Uterine cancer:

  • Taking birth control pills, especially over a  long period of time.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • If diabetic, maintaining good self care
  • Having pelvic exams and trans vaginal ultrasounds

Helpful Links:
http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/uterine/

 

Vaginal Cancer

Vaginal Cancer- An uncommon cancer of the female reproductive system. It begins when normal cells in the vagina change and grow uncontrollably forming a tumor.

Types of Vaginal Cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma-  Type of skin cancer that begins in the cells lining the vagina, most often in the area closest to the cervix. Accounts for 85-90% of vaginal cancers. Develops slowly through a pre cancerous condition (changes in cells that may, but do not always become cancer) called vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia or VAIN.

Adenocarcinoma- Begins in the vaginal gland tissue. It accounts for 5-10% of all vaginal cancers.

Clear Cell Adenocarcinoma- Cancer occurs in young women whose mother’s took the drug diethylstilbestrol (DES) during pregnancy between the late 1940’s and 1971. Estimated 1 out of 1,000 women exposed to DES will develop vaginal cancer.

Melanoma- Another type of skin cancer that is usually found on skin exposed to the sun, but it can begin on the skin on the vagina or other internal organs. It often appears as a dark colored tumor on the lower or outer parts of the vagina.

 

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Precancerous conditions such as VAIN and vaginal cancer do not often cause symptoms in the early stages, but in more advanced stages.
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Difficulty urinating or pain
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Pain in the pelvic area
  • Pain in the back or legs
  • Swelling in the legs

Prevention: Annual gynecologic examination.

  • Delaying first sexual intercourse until the late teens or older
  • Avoiding sexual intercourse with multiple partners
  • Avoiding sexual intercourse with someone who has multiple partners
  • Practicing safe sex
  • Having regular pap tests
  • Not smoking
  • Quitting smoking

Helpful Links:http://www.cancer.org/cancer/vaginalcancer/detailedguide/vaginal-cancer-what-is-vaginal-cancer
Vulvar Cancer

Vulvar Cancer- Begins when normal cells change and grow uncontrollably, forming a tumor. Vulvar cancer is classified in to 2 main types named for the type of tissue where the cancer started.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma- Type of skin cancer that accounts for 90%. of vulvar cancers. It is usually found on the vulva.

Adenocarcinoma- starts in Bartholin’s glands or vulvar sweat glands and it accounts for a small percentage of vulvar cancers. Usually found on the sides of the vaginal opening.

Melanoma- Another type of skin cancer that accounts for 2-4% of vulvar cancers. It occurs most often on the clitoris. Women with melanoma on other parts of their body have an increased risk of developing vulvar cancer.

Less common types:

Paget’s Disease- The adenocarinoma cells are found in the vulvar skin.

Sarcoma- A tumor of the connective tissues beneath the skin.

Verrucous Carcinoma- A slow growing subtype of squamous cell carcinoma that looks like a wart.
Signs and Symptoms:

  • A lump or growth in or on the vulvar area
  • A patch of skin that is differently textured or colored than the rest of the vulvar area
  • Persistent itching, pain, soreness or burning in the vulvar area.
  • Painful urination
  • Bleeding or discharge that is not menstrual blood
  • An ulcer that persists for more than one month
  • A change in the appearance of an existing mole
  • Wart like growths (similar to genital warts)

Prevention: Annual gynecologic examination.

  • Delaying first sexual intercourse until late teens or older
  • Avoiding sexual intercourse with multiple partners
  • Avoiding sexual intercourse with someone that has multiple partners
  • Practicing safe sex
  • Not smoking
  • Quitting smoking

Helpful Links:http://www.thegcf.org/
http://www.cancer.org/cancer/vulvarcancer/

 

If you haven’t already please check out these posts!!

https://twistofamillennia.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/a-promise-kept-my-mothers-story/

https://twistofamillennia.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/world-cancer-day-my-moms-other-vision-brought-to-light/

 

 

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