Gynecological cancers affect the female reproductive system. They pose a significant threat to women’s health worldwide and require specialized care and treatment.
Gynecological cancers can be of the following types: cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar cancer. Of these, uterine cancer is the most common type in the U.S., with 26.82 cases per 100,000, whereas the least common one is vaginal cancer, with 0.66 cases per 100,000. In 2020, approximately 417,367 people were diagnosed with uterine cancer. So, it’s important to understand its causes and how you can prevent them.
Gynecological cancers have several risk factors, including diet, lifestyle, age, overall health, and immunity. However, genetics and family history also affect gynecological cancer risk. Researchers are studying gynecological cancer genetics to identify gene changes or mutations that contribute to cancer formation and progression. Detecting these gene changes can help create effective and targeted treatments for gynecological cancers.
Gynecological Cancer and Genetics
Gynecological cancers are strongly associated with genetics, as they can occur due to inherited gene mutations. Research shows that mutations in the BRCA genes (BRCA1 and 2) can increase the risk of ovarian and breast cancers. You inherit two copies of the BRCA genes from each parent. If you inherit a harmful variant or mutated BRCA gene, you may develop cancer at an earlier age than those without the mutated gene. Also, if you have a family history of gynecological cancers, you may be at a higher risk of developing them.
Genetic testing can help identify mutations that increase the risk of gynecological cancers. It also provides valuable information about cancer risk and prognosis. Additionally, it allows health care providers to make informed decisions for cancer prevention and personalize treatment and management.
How to Prevent Gynecological Cancer
Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself from gynecological cancer:
Know your family history: Cancer can be hereditary, as genetic changes can be passed down from your parents to you. If you have a family history of gynecological cancer, you may have to undergo genetic testing to check if you need early cancer screening. Your doctor will help you with preventive measures based on your risk of developing cancer.
Get genetic testing: Genetic testing can help provide important information about your risk of developing cancer. It involves using a blood or saliva sample to analyze your DNA for mutations associated with cancer risk. If you test positive for a cancer mutation, your doctor may recommend cancer screening, lifestyle changes, and other steps to prevent cancer.
Get regular gynecologic cancer screenings: Regular screenings, including pap smears and human papillomavirus (HPV) tests, can help detect gynecological cancer in its early stages and prevent it from growing and spreading.
Get vaccinated: The HPV vaccine can protect you against HPV, which can cause cervical cancer.
Practice safe sex: HPV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can increase your risk of gynecological cancers. Practicing safe sex, such as using condoms, can help lower your risk of developing STIs.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Regulating your diet, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce gynecological cancer risk.
Visit NVSCC for Genetic Testing and Gynecologic Cancer Screening
If you wish to undergo genetic testing or early screening, visit NVSCC today.
At NVSCC, our experienced gynecologic oncologists deliver personalized care focusing on your health needs. We offer genetic testing and counseling to help you understand your risk of developing cancer and process the results. Based on your results, we provide gynecologic cancer screening tests and cancer prevention, treatment, and management measures. Through our comprehensive services, we prioritize your well-being and stay with you every step of the way.
To learn more, book a consultation with NVSCC today.