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National Ovarian and Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month

gynecologic cancer ribbons

September is National Ovarian and Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month. This is the perfect time for women to schedule their well-woman exams and determine if they—or someone they love—are due for an important preventive health screening.

Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women, accounting for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. Roughly 22,000 women in the U.S. will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer this year, and more than 14,000 will die from the disease. A woman's risk of getting ovarian cancer during her lifetime is about 1 in 75.

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, when diagnosed early. Each year, about 12,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with a new case of invasive cervical cancer. Around 4,000 will die from the disease. A Pap smear test can find changes in the cervix before cancer develops.

Cervical cancer tends to occur in midlife. Most cases are found in women younger than age 50, however, many older women do not realize that the risk of developing cervical cancer is still present as they age.

The Importance of Early Detection and Annual Check-Ups

The earlier either cancer is detected and treated, the better. How often a woman needs a check-up can vary based on individual medical needs, but women should see their health care providers regularly.

Key points to remember:

  • Take steps to prevent cancer – exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet.
  • Know how your body normally looks, feels and reacts when healthy.
  • If you notice any changes, tenderness or pain, you should schedule an appointment with your health care provider as soon as possible.
  • Learn the risks of gynecologic cancers, including whether you have a family history of ovarian, cervical or breast cancer.
  • Anyone with a cervix and ovaries can develop cervical and ovarian cancer, regardless of age or family history.
  • Get the screenings your health care practitioner recommends. Cancer is most treatable when diagnosed early.

The physicians at Magnolia Obstetrics & Gynecology offer adolescent and adult women the unique care they deserve by putting their patients at ease and taking the time to listen to their health care concerns. Call (985) 230-APPT [2778] in Hammond or 1 (844) APPT-NOW [277-8669] in Livingston to schedule an appointment.