This year's National Gynecologic Cancer Awareness GCAM theme is: "LEARN - about the risk factors and symptoms of gynecologic cancers, LISTEN - to your body, ACT - to reduce your risk and take preventive steps.
There are five types of gynecologic cancers: cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulvar. When gynecologic cancers are found early, treatment is most effective. GCAM encourages women to pay attention to your body and know what is normal for you. Warning signs of gynecologic cancers include, but are not limited to, the following: Unusual bleeding or discharge from the vagina. A sore in the genital area that doesn't heal. Pain or pressure in the pelvic area. A change in bowel or bladder habits that persists. Frequent or constant indigestion or bloating of the abdomen. A thickening or lump in the pelvic area that either causes pain or can be seen or felt.
What should I do to help prevent gynecologic cancer?
Stephen Styron, MD,
Gynecologist, has clinic hours at Grundy County Memorial Hospital (GCMH).
Get a Pap test (Pap smear) regularly to screen for cervical cancer. A woman should begin being screened at age 21, or within three years of the first time you have sex, whichever happens first. The Pap test is one of the most reliable and effective cancer screening tests available.
Get the HPV vaccine, if you are 1126 years old. Human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes genital warts, is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). HPV infection can also cause problems with the cervix (the opening to the uterus located at the top of the vagina) that may lead to cervical cancer. It can also cause problems that may lead to cancer in other genital areas, such as the vagina or vulva.
Know Your Family History. As with most cancers, it is important to know your family history. By sharing this information with your doctor, you and your doctor can determine which types of self-examinations you should be performing and which types of screening tests you should have.
Stephen Styron, MD, from Allen OB/GYN, has clinic hours at Grundy County Memorial Hospital (GCMH) one Wednesday per month. Dr. Styron's services include: Preventive and diagnostic services for women's health concerns. Annual female exams and Pap tests. Colposcopy and cervical biopsy. Menorrhagia (abnormally heavy and prolonged menstrual period at regular intervals). LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure). Menopause treatment. Urinary incontinence. Infertility consultations. Birth control (IUD, Depo Provera injection, pessary, pills). Laparoscopy. Post-operative care. Tubal ligations. NovaSure procedures
For more information, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Styron, call GCMH at (319) 824-5081 or toll-free (888) 842-5081.