Medical Update: Cervical and Ovarian Cancer Awareness
Sep 19, 2013 at 7:13 PM CST
Sep 19, 2013
In 2013, about 12,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer, and about 22,000 with ovarian cancer. A well-woman exam is the number one way for both cervical and ovarian cancer to be caught early, but many women choose to skip their yearly exam. Doctor Omar Perez says this leads to women getting a late diagnosis. Ovarian cancer develops in the tissue of one or both of the ovaries and there's no screening test to detect it. It can only be caught during a pelvic exam. So women should know the symptoms. "Pelvic pressure, pelvic pain, increase in the diameter of the abdominal area, because of the mass, some of the ovarian cancers can grow 20 to 30 centimeters." Unlike ovarian cancer, cervical cancer can be detected through a yearly pap smear. It’s not as aggressive, and can almost always be caught early if you see your doctor regularly. The cases of cervical cancer are actually on the decline due to the introduction of the HPV vaccine, which prevents the disease that leads to cervical cancer. Both cancers are usually treated with surgery, chemotherapy, and sometimes radiation. Next week we'll introduce you to a local woman who lost her mother to ovarian cancer, and now shares a powerful message for all women.