6 Misconceptions About Gynecological Cancers

True Misconceptions About Gynecological Cancers
6 Misconceptions About Gynecological Cancers

Acıbadem University Faculty of Medicine Head of Gynecology and Obstetrics Department and Acıbadem Maslak Hospital Gynecology and Obstetrics, Gynecological Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Mete Güngör talked about 6 misconceptions about gynecological cancers within the scope of "September-Gynecological Cancers Awareness Month".

prof. Dr. Güngör made important warnings and suggestions about gynecological cancers in his statement within the scope of "September-Gynecological Cancers Awareness Month".

Stating that gynecological cancers constitute 10 of the top 3 most common cancers in women, Prof. Dr. Güngör said, “Of these, ovarian cancer ranks 5th, uterine cancer ranks 7th, and cervical cancer ranks 9th. Among these cancers, only cervical cancer has an effective screening program. Because ovarian cancer is so insidious, it usually reaches an advanced stage when diagnosed. Uterine cancer, on the other hand, usually manifests itself with post-menopausal bleeding, and when diagnosed early, we can cure most of it completely. Although there is no effective screening program for ovarian and uterine cancer, early diagnosis and treatment of the disease can be possible with regular gynecological examinations. says.

Stating that since there is no social awareness about women's cancers, cancers are mostly diagnosed at an advanced stage, and some of the wrongs that are known to be true in the society negatively affect the possibility of early diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Güngör, in his statement within the scope of "September-Gynecological Cancers Awareness Month", told 6 misconceptions about gynecological cancers, and made important warnings and suggestions.

“There is no cancer in my family, so I am not at risk”: False

The truth: Stating that having cancer in close family members increases the risk, Prof. Dr. Güngör says that most of the cancers are caused by environmental and hormonal factors and wrong living habits without any mutation or family history. Noting that when all types are examined, only 10-15 percent of hereditary cancer types are encountered, Prof. Dr. Mete Gungor says:

“These species are generally; breast, ovarian and colon cancers. For example; If there are inherited BRCA1 and 2 mutations, the probability of breast cancer is 85 percent, and the probability of ovarian cancer is around 20-40 percent. But even if these genes in the family are passed on to children, the probability of cancer is not 100 percent. In addition, some genetic disorders other than these well-known mutations can also inherit cancer.”

“I have no complaints, why should I be screened for cancer?”: False

Fact: Among the gynecological cancers, there is a screening program for cervical cancer. Screening begins at age 21 and continues every 70 years until age 3. These cancers are considered 'overdue' when they show symptoms. For this reason, stating that cancer screening should be done without any symptoms, Prof. Dr. Güngör said, “Women who have regular cervical cancer screening are very rarely diagnosed with cervical cancer. There is no effective screening method for ovarian cancers and uterine cancer. However, even if there are no complaints, regular gynecological examinations allow the early diagnosis and treatment of these diseases. says.

“Cervical cancer is inherited in the family”: False

The truth: Stating that the cause of cervical cancer is the sexually transmitted HPV virus, Prof. Dr. Güngör, however, says that it should not be thought that everyone who gets this virus will get cancer. Noting that there is no familial transmission in cervical cancer, Prof. Dr. Güngör points out that those with a family history of cervical cancer are not at an extra risk.

“If HPV is detected and conization is done, I will get rid of HPV”: False

In fact: Prof. Dr. Güngör said, “Detection of HPV infection does not indicate a defect in the cervix. If cell abnormalities are seen in the smear test and a disorder called pre-cancerous lesion in the cervix is ​​detected in colposcopic biopsy, then it is surgically removed (conization). This process only cleans these cellular disorders in the cervix, not the HPV virus. The HPV virus continues to be found in normal cells in the cervix. HPV is cleared only by the immune system.

“The vaccine no longer works because I have an HPV infection”: False

The truth: HPV vaccine can be given to everyone, male and female, up to the age of 45, regardless of whether they have had HPV infection or not. Dr. Güngör says: “Vaccination; It does not treat the existing HPV infection, it is done to prevent it. However, the studies carried out; It shows that there is a greater improvement in those who have HPV vaccination after the disorders that have occurred in the cervix due to HPV compared to those who do not. HPV vaccines are administered in 3 doses within a total of 6 months. After these 3 doses are done, it does not need to be repeated again. They provide lifetime protection against the HPV types found in vaccines.”

“It is not possible to have children after the treatment of gynecological cancers”: False

The truth: It is possible to protect the fertility of the patient by treating the cancer stage according to the stage of the cancer in women who want to have a child at the reproductive age. prof. Dr. Güngör said, “Uterine cancer is very rare in the reproductive age, but if the disease in the reproductive age is at an early stage, the disease can be suppressed with hormonal therapy for 6-12 months and the patients can be provided with an opportunity to have a child. Ovarian cancer can occur at any age. If the disease is limited to a single ovary in the young patient group, surgery is performed by preserving the other ovary and uterus. Cervical cancer can also occur at an early age. If the disease is at an early stage, the uterus can be preserved and only the cervix can be operated on, thus preserving the fertility capacity. If the uterus cannot be protected, the ovaries are protected and removed from the radiation therapy area by hanging them on the upper abdomen to protect them from the possible effects of postoperative radiation therapy. In this way, the patient can have a child from a surrogate mother with his own eggs in the future if he wishes.” says.

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