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Cancer or the big ‘C’ can affect any part of the body including the female reproductive system. These types of cancer are known as gynaecological cancers. Gynaecological cancers occur when normal cells start growing in an uncontrolled manner. There are many different types of gynaecological cancers which are named as per the organs in which they first develop. These include:
- Ovarian cancer: Cancer that affects the ovaries and ova
- Uterine cancer: Cancer that begins inside the uterus
- Cervical cancer: Cancer that begins in the cervix or the section of the reproductive tract between the uterus and vagina
- Vaginal cancer: Cancer that begins in the vagina
- Vulval cancer: Cancer that originates in the opening of the vagina, labia minora or labia majora, clitoris or mons pubis
- Fallopian tube cancer: Cancer that affects the fallopian tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus
- Placenta cancer: Pregnancy related cancer
Gynaecological cancers are more commonly diagnosed in cases where the woman has a family history of cancer or has mutated genes. Advancing in age, exposure to hormones, and diethylstilbestrol can also increase the risk of suffering from such cancers. Additionally, viral infections such as human papilloma virus, obesity and unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking have also been identified as risk factors for cancer.
However, a woman may suffer from these types of cancer even if she does not fall into any of the above risk factor categories. Hence, it becomes important to focus on the symptoms. The symptoms of gynaecological cancers depend on the organ from where the tumour originated, the size of the tumour and it’s rate of growth.
Some of the symptoms which may be noticed are:
- Abnormal bleeding from the vagina
- Bleeding after intercourse
- Unusual discharge from the vagina
- Pain or discomfort in the abdominal area
- Swelling of the abdomen
- Painful intercourse
- Itching or burning sensations in the genital area
- Lumps, warts or sores in the genital area
- Unusual bladder and bowel habits
Gynaecological cancers can be treated by using chemotherapy, radiation, hormonal therapies or surgery depending on the stage of the cancer and the type of cancer. Hence, the earlier it is diagnosed, the better it is. Keeping the risk factors in mind, if the above symptoms are noticed, the doctor may ask for a number of tests to diagnose gynaecological cancers.
These tests include:
- A pap smear
- Pelvic examination
- Blood tests
- CT scan, ultrasound, MRI or any other form of imaging tests
- Biopsy scan
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist and ask a free question.
Does coffee cause cancer, and if yes, what are the symptoms. And what are the preventive measures to be taken. Can anyone fall prey to this disease.
I'm a 17 year old boy. Of late, I have been experiencing pain on my right nipple every time I touch it or there is even the slightest pressure. Also, I can feel a kind of lump behind it. My mom had breast cancer. Should I consult an oncologist or is this normal? I read in a few places that this is normal if it happens on both sides but on my left side I can feel little to nothing. Please reply ASAP. Thank you.
I have prostrate cancer And I am at very last stage My check up is going on But I just wanted to know that is there any treatment fir this and if yes then where?
Hi l am 33 years old lady feeling a tumor in my left under arm. I have a baby and she is 10 month old.
Hi my mother is having breast cancer above stage-2 and her age is 37. She already had taken the surgery now she is taking chemotherapy is she need radiotherapy. What are the precautions to take for the chemotherapy. Does this cancer curable.
I was treated for NHL a type of Cancer, 4 years before in Tata memorial Hospital by undergoing chemotherapy treatment. So can you send me a diet chart or advice me what to eat and what not to eat.
Hampered drive for physical intimacy may not be the case with everybody suffering from cancer. Since, each individual is different with varied sexual needs, it is rather impossible to predict how cancer would affect a person’s sex drive. But certain treatments of cancer might take a toll on your libido and subsequently, your sex life.
Cancer and certain treatments of cancer, can be the reason behind your low libido as they can cause:
1. Imbalance in the sex hormones
2. Scarring of the skin
3. Breathing problems
4. Diarrhea or bowel problems
6. Tension or anxiety
7. Depression or sadness
9. Fatigue (Tiredness)
10. Persistent sickness
With any of these side-effects, you may not have the urge of indulging in sexual intercourse because of the constant irritability and pain, essentially resulting from weakness. You might also think less of yourself, with no care for the way you dress up, make up or do your hair as you used to do before. With fatigue playing nemesis to your libido, you may feel entirely washed out, exhausted and spent after your intensive chemotherapy sessions.
How do you address this problem?
1. Speak out: Try unburdening yourself of the worries and anxiety in front of your partner or the doctor and make them understand how you truly feel about yourself. They may be able to guide you home.
2. Plan your rumble beforehand: You can plan your sexual activity by taking pain killers an hour prior to lovemaking.
3. Foreplay helps: Remember, sexual contact cannot spread cancer, ever. An intense session of foreplay has never disappointed anybody and it might work wonders if you have been going through all the rigor of cancer and its treatment lately. It would make you feel genuinely cared for; this might just egg you on to come out of that shell of depression and anxiety and enjoy sex like the way you used to.