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Health and Financial Wellness

Women’s Cancers 101

As with other types of malignancies, the chances of surviving common cancers among women increase with early detection.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is either the top or second-leading cause of premature death in 134 countries in the world. Developments in the medical field are making progress against the disease, albeit rather slowly. Meanwhile, experts have discerned that one in five people will develop cancer before the age of 75. Of the total estimated global burden of cancer in 2018, cancers among women recorded about 8,622,539 incident cases, of which more than two million were due to breast cancer.

Over the years, individuals, communities and nations have united to raise awareness of breast cancer. Through efforts on disseminating general information, urging early detection, and sharing tips on preventing or managing the disease, many women have found strength and solidarity in battling breast cancer. However, as the WHO report on cancer reveals, there are more cancers that women should prepare or keep an eye out for.

Colorectal cancer. A cancer of the colon or the rectum. Experts recommend regular cancer screening at the age of 45. Stool-based tests and visual examination of the colon and rectum (colonoscopy) are some examples of colorectal screening exams.

Endometrial cancer. A cancer of the endometrium or the inner lining of the uterus. Though there are currently no screening tests to detect endometrial cancer early, reporting symptoms such as vaginal bleeding or unusual discharge to a health professional is a must.

Cervical cancer. A cancer of the cervix, the tissue that connects the vagina and uterus. It is often caused by chronic infection from the human papillomavirus (HPV). Its top prevention measures are curbing smoking habits and using condoms during sex, as well as routine HPV vaccination.

Ovarian cancer. A cancer of the ovaries, the primary female reproductive organs that release eggs and secrete hormones. The risk of developing ovarian cancer is higher in older women without children or those who had only one child after age 35. While there are no screening tests for this type of cancer, a Pap smear should be one of the mainstays in a woman’s health exam routine.

Lung cancer. One of the highest recorded cancer incidences among men also affects women, as its source—tobacco—is accessible to them as well. However, not all smokers have lung cancers and not all people with lung cancer are smokers. Still, it’s best for non-smokers to not start at all.

As with other types of malignancies, the chances of surviving common cancers among women increase with early detection. This process involves finding the existence of abnormal cancer cells in the body while they are still few and haven’t metastasized or spread to other organs. And for cancers that have yet to have dedicated screening tests, keeping an eye out for its signs and symptoms, and talking about them with a health care provider may greatly help prevent or delay the onset of cancer.

#HealthAwareness #WomensHealth #Cancer

References:

  1. WHO report on cancer: setting priorities, investing wisely and providing care for all [Internet]. World Health Organization. 2020 [cited 28 Apr 2021]. Available from: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/who-report-on-cancer-setting-priorities-investing-wisely-and-providing-care-for-all

  2. Cancer Facts for Women [Internet]. American Cancer Society. 2019 [cited 28 Apr 2021]. Available from: https://www.cancer.org/healthy/find-cancer-early/womens-health/cancer-facts-for-women