Prostate cancer: Doctor outlines symptoms you might experience

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According to research from the NHS, there are around 10,000 new cases of uterine or endometrial cancer diagnosed every year in the UK. These numbers make gynaecological cancer the fourth most common cancer type in those with vaginas. Fortunately, Dr Bryony Henderson, Lead GP at digital healthcare provider Livi, explains the warning signs to spot.

The grim reality about cancer is that anyone can develop this scary condition.

However, being able to detect cancer promptly could be the first step in the right direction.

Dr Henderson said: “The journey that cancer patients endure starts with a diagnosis and the sooner any gynaecological cancer is detected, the better the prognosis usually is.”

As the awareness of signs is key in this process, the expert shared the “common” symptoms of six cancer types including:

  • Ovarian
  • Cervical
  • Womb
  • Vaginal 
  • Vulval.

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Based on the locations of these cancers, the tell-tale signs will also crop up in the reproductive system.

Dr Henderson detailed the “common” symptoms include:

  • Pelvic pain 
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge 
  • Bloating or stomach pains  
  • Blood in urine  
  • Vaginal itchiness  
  • Lumps or soreness in or around the genital area  
  • Pain during or after sex  
  • Excessive urge to urinate.

As early diagnosis could be a key to recovery, the expert advises to “speak to a doctor” if you’re concerned.

She said: “Whilst these cancers are different and will affect people differently, some of them can have similar symptoms.

“It’s important to remember that these aren’t always symptoms of cancer and can often be related to a number of other less serious illnesses or infections.

“If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it’s always a good idea to get in touch with your doctor who will be able to review your symptoms on an individual basis.”

Am I at risk of gynaecological cancer?

The expert explained that gynaecological cancer can affect women, transgender and non-binary people.

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Anyone born with a vagina could be at risk of this condition, with the likelihood further increasing with age.

“This is why attending regular cervical screenings is important as well as discussing any abnormal symptoms with your doctor at the earliest onset, especially if you have a family history of cancer,” said Dr Henderson.

Ovarian cancer tends to usually impact people over 50, while cervical cancer targets sexually active patients between the ages of 30 and 45.

While being “extremely rare”, vulval cancer affects 1 in 1,400 people, with most patients being over the age of 65, explained the expert.

The expert urged people with symptoms to get tested, while she also outlined the importance of routine screenings.

Dr Henderson said: “There are multiple ways to test for cancer and your GP will be able to refer you onto the right pathway, depending on symptoms and individual circumstances.  

“Particularly with more common cancers such as cervical cancer, routine cervical screening can help to prevent late diagnosis of cervical cancer. 

“You should automatically be invited by your GP practice from the age of 25 if you are registered female at your surgery.”

The good news is there are various treatments available, ranging from radiotherapy to surgery.

 

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