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Gynecologic Cancer Signs & Symptoms

July 8, 2016


Greenway Station is proud to be hosting our annual Ladies’ Night Out event on Thursday, July 28 from 5-8pm.  We’ve designed the event to raise funds for a local, female-centric non-profit partner. This year, our beneficiary partner is Sparkle of Hope – an organization that funds much-needed patient car and research for gynecologic cancer.  With the event fast-approaching, we want to build awareness of gynecologic cancers.  Joanne Rash, MPAS & PA-C, has put together a helpful list of signs and symptoms of gynecologic cancers.  In Joanne’s words, “pass this forward to the ladies in your life!”

Joanne Rash
Joanne Rash, MPAS, PA-C | UW Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology

After working in Gynecologic Oncology for 10 years, if I could grab every woman’s attention for 5 minutes this is what I would say.

Please pay attention to your body. Trust yourself to know if something is new or different. You don’t need to know what is wrong, but you do want to call the following signs and symptoms to the attention of your health care team. Gynecologic cancers symptoms can be subtle. Think of your body whispering to you clues that there is a change.

Signs and symptoms of Gynecologic Cancers

Ovarian Cancer
-Pelvic or abdominal pain
-Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
-Urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency)

Uterine Cancer
-Any vaginal bleeding after menopause
-Unusual bleeding or vaginal discharge
-Pain or feeling fullness in the pelvic area or lower abdomen
-Fibroids that grow quickly after menopause

Cervix Cancer
-Abnormal vaginal bleeding, especially after intercourse
-Vaginal discharge
-Odor (strange/unpleasant)
-Pain (during sex or in pelvic area during other activities)

Vulvar Cancer
-Vulvar itching that does not improve
-Change in skin color around the vulva
-Change in the feel of your skin around vulva
-Wart-like bumps or sores on vulva or clitoral area
-Pain with urination (on the skin)
-Bleeding and discharge not related to menstrual cycle
-Enlarged glands in groin

Now that you are aware of the signs and symptoms of Gynecologic Cancers, please pass this forward to the ladies in your life. As women, we talk about pregnancy, menopause and intimacy – but we also need to talk about gynecologic cancer. My sincerest hope is that early detection becomes more common place. That by raising awareness of gynecologic cancers, we can all work towards prevention of cancers, early detection, improved treatments, and ultimately better health of the women in our community.