Bringing Awareness to Women's Cancer

Bringing Awareness to Women's Cancer

woman in a circleOctober is nationally recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s a time when we highlight efforts to increase awareness for women’s breast cancer and give support to those battling the disease and to those who have survived.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death among women in the United States. The American Cancer Society has estimated that 129,940 women will die from breast, lung, ovarian, and cervical cancer this year in the United States.

There are three types of cancer specific to women: breast, ovarian, and cervical cancer. The American Cancer Society has estimated that more than 220,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. Another 21,290 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 12,900 women with cervical cancer this year.

Paris Community Hospital is helping bring awareness by providing facts about the primary types of women’s cancer and by highlighting the importance of early detection methods.

Breast Cancer

According to the National Cancer Institute, 1-in-8 women are at risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetime. Being a woman automatically puts you at risk of breast cancer, which is why all women should have screenings performed regularly to help detect breast cancer early before symptoms can fully develop. The American Cancer Society recommends mammograms as the best test to detect breast cancer in its early stages. Mammogram testing has led to a 35% decrease in recent cancer deaths.

For most women, a regular mammogram is not needed until age 50. But those who are at higher risk of developing breast cancer should be tested beginning at age 40 or upon a doctor’s recommendation. Breast MRIs are used in addition to mammograms to test women who have a higher risk of breast cancer.

Ovarian and Cervical Cancer

Regular screenings and exams can also help in early detection of both ovarian and cervical cancer. Ovarian and cervical cancers are the two primary cancers that affect a woman’s reproductive organs. Every 1-in-75 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in her lifetime. According to the American Cancer Society, about half of the women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are over the age of 63.

Cervical cancer was once the most common cancer death among American women, but the death rate has decreased more than 50% over the last 30 years due to proper screenings and preventative measures.

When ovarian cancer is detected early at a localized stage, 94% of patients have lived longer than 5 years after diagnosis. Regular Pap tests during a well woman’s exam can detect cervical cancer in its early stages before it has fully developed.

pelvic exam can detect both ovarian and cervical cancers. Cervical cancers and pre-cancers usually have no symptoms. The signs and symptoms associated with ovarian and cervical cancer are noticeable after both cancers have begun to spread to other areas of the body.

Paris Community Hospital offers a number of different services through the Women’s Health & Center for Urogynecology. To learn more about breast services, general gynecology, and how to schedule an appointment, call (217) 465-CARE (2273).