gynecological cancer

Facts About Gynecological Cancer In Nigeria | Types Of Gynecological Cancer

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Gynecological Cancer | Most Common Gynecological Cancer 

 

Facts about Gynecological Cancer in Nigeria: The female reproductive system comprises of the vaginal, uterus, ovary and the breast. The health practice that deals with health condition of the female reproductive system is called gynecology.

Cancers are known to be radical or abnormal cells developing, growing and spreading uncontrollably in any part of the body. This cell later developed into tumor. Whenever the cancer starts from the female reproductive system, it is then tagged ‘gynecological cancer’.

It is often tagged as a silent killer because most women affected hardly notice any symptom.This post tends to explore the amazing facts about gynecological cancer in Nigeria you should know.

Types of Gynecological Cancer

Gynecological cancer is not just a single form of cancer on it s own but a combination or group of cancers that affects the female reproductive system. The area or part where it starts will determine what type of cancer it is.

Each of these cancers also comes with different nature, symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis and treatment method. According to Natural Remedy Lab’s fact about gynecological cancer  in Nigeria, here are the most common types of gynecological cancers in Nigeria:breast cancer, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer and uterine cancer.

BREAST CANCER

When the cancer cell starts from the breast, it is tagged breast cancer. According to the office on Women’s Health, U.S, Department of Health and Human Services, every woman is at risk of this killer disease with 1 in 8 women finding out she has breast cancer at some time in her life.

Reports on facts about gynecological cancer in Nigeria claim that women seem to get better improvement after treatment. It is also worthy of note that breast cancer may return back from 15 – 20 years after treatment.

Types of Breast Cancer

According to The Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA), the types of breast cancers are:

Early Breast Cancer: this is also referred to invasive breast cancer. It occurs in breast tissue and may spread to the lymph nodes near the breast or armpit.

  • Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS): this is found in the milk ducts of the breast. It is often called non-invasive breast cancer. It doesn’t spread outside the ducts into other parts of the breast.
  • Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS): this is found in the lobules of the breast and does not spread beyond the lobules into other parts of the breast. It is also a non-invasive breast cancer.
  • Secondary Breast Cancer: this is a breast cancer that spreads to other vital parts or organs of the body. It can also be called advanced or metastatic breast cancer.

Risk Factors For Breast Cancer

It may be difficult to identify the primary cause of breast cancer but certain factors can be responsible as risk factors that can lead to the disease. Risk factors include:

  • Being Female: breast cancer predominantly affects women, especially those in pre-menopause stage. According to Wikipedia, breast cancer accounts for about 22.9% of various cancers in women.
  • Age: breast cancer is common among older women though it is still possible to affect younger women too.
  • Medication: some birth control pills may be dangerous for your health and may even increase your chance of developing cancer.
  • Personal History: personal history of breast cancer or breast related problems when you were very young may also be responsible.
  • Family History: If any of your close relatives once had breast cancer, you are likely to have it in the future.

Other known risk factors about gynecological cancer in Nigeria include obesity, exposure to radiation to the breast / chest, lack of exercise, medications especially hormone replacement therapy & starting menstruation very early at a young age or starting menopause early.

Early Symptoms of Breast Cancer

  • Likely symptoms include:
  • Breast discomfort
  • Upturned nipple
  • Pain
  • Irritation
  • Presence of lump
  • Swelling
  • Unusual nipple discharge.

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ENDOMETRIAL CANCER

Research shows that EC is the most common cancer in this category. One out of every 40 women is believed to have EC according to University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The major cause of EC is a hormone found in women called estrogen. The excessive increase in the estrogen level can be caused by obesity, medications and estrogen hormone therapy.

The likely symptoms may include:

  • Vaginal bleeding after menopause
  • Irregular bleeding before menopause.

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OVARIAN CANCER

When cancer starts from the ovaries, it is called ovarian cancer. The ovaries are responsible for female hormones and egg production. These types of cancer most likely occur among older women who are above age 40.
Factors like child bearing and use of birth control pills helps in reducing the chance of developing ovarian cancer.

Risk Factors For Ovarian Cancer

If any of your close relatives once had breast or ovarian cancer in the past, you stand a bigger risk compared to those who had no previous history. Ovarian cancer is also more common in developed western countries compared to developing countries.

Early Symptoms Of Ovarian Cancer

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Unusual discharge from the vaginal
  • Pain & discomfort in the abdomen, back and pelvic
  • Excessive frequent urination
  • Constipation

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CERVICAL CANCER

The cervix is the part that connects the uterus (womb) and the vaginal. Whenever a cancer cell starts there, it becomes cervical cancer. This particular type of cancer is common in women above age 30.
Cervical cancer is the only cancer that Pap test is used to diagnose. The pap test is the most effective way of detecting cervical cancer. Pap test is recommended to be done as soon as you become sexually active.

Risk Factors For Cervical Cancer

  • The leading cause of cervical cancer is HPV (Human Papillomavirus Infection). Prevention of HPV by use of vaccine and protection during intercourse is recommended.
  • Having multiple sexual partners also expose you to getting HPV and other STDs which are risk factors for Cervical Cancer.
  • Prolonged Usage of birth control pills can also be a risk factor
  • It is also likely to occur if you are the type that smokes.

Early Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

Likely symptoms include:

  • Bleeding during or after sex
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Unusual discharge from the vaginal
  • Bleeding after menopause.

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UTERINE CANCER

The uterus commonly known as the womb is a female reproductive organ, always pear shaped and found in the woman’s pelvis. This is where a baby is hosted whenever a woman gets pregnant. A cancer that starts from this place is tagged uterine cancer.

Risk Factors For Uterine Cancer

  • You may be at risk of getting uterine cancer if you started menstruation early before age 12.
  • If you have never been pregnant before, you stand a chance of having uterine cancer
  • Those who are older than age 50 are more likely to have uterine cancer compare to those who are younger.
  • Uterine cancer is also common among those who are obese. Unhealthy body fats are risk factors.
  • Those who have had hormone therapy for breast cancer may end up having uterine cancer.
  • Having a close relative who had uterine cancer makes you likely to have also.

Symptoms of Uterine Cancer

Likely symptoms include vaginal bleeding after menopause, abnormal vaginal discharge, irregular and unusual bleeding during periods, pain and discomfort in the pelvic.

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VULVAR CANCER

Vulvar cancer occur in the outer vaginal lips.

Risk Factors For Vulvar Cancer:

  • HPV / HIV
  • Smoking
  • Multiple sex partners

Early Symptoms of Vulvar Cancer

  • Skin discoloration around the vulva
  • Presence of warts, sores, lumps or ulcers on the vaginal
  • You may experience a burning sensation or pain while urinating / during intercourse.

Read Also: Facts About Cancer In Nigeria

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Credit: MayoClinic, Wikipedia, CDC

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