All women are at risk of developing gynecologic cancer. This risk increases with age. There is no known way to prevent ovarian or uterine cancer at this time. Cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers are most commonly caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Gynecologic cancer prevention is not guaranteed, and varies depending on the type of cancer.
Gynecologic Cancer Prevention
At this time, gynecologic cancer prevention is limited to cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. Research is ongoing to determine ways to prevent ovarian and uterine cancers.
It is important to note that the methods described below may not be right for everyone. Individuals who do have risk factors may never develop cancer, while those who do not have risk factors may develop cancer.
Cervical, Vaginal, and Vulvar Cancers
The HPV vaccine protects both boys and girls from the strains of HPV most commonly transmitted during intercourse. The vaccine is generally recommended to be given between the ages of 11 and 12, and is usually administered in one to three doses depending on the age of the individual.
Have regular Pap tests after age 21 (cervical cancer only)
Have regular HPV tests after age 30 (cervical cancer only)
Get the HPV Vaccine (cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers)
Make healthy lifestyle choices: don’t smoke, exercise regularly, practice safe sex, and maintain a healthy weight
Uterine and Ovarian Cancers
There is no known way to prevent uterine or ovarian cancers at this time. However, studies have found that certain factors may reduce the risk of developing these types of cancer.
Maintaining a healthy weight
Using birth control
Having given birth
Having a tubal ligation
Using birth control
The most important thing you can do is be aware of what is normal for your body, and consult with your doctor if you notice any changes. Awareness and regular checkups with your doctor can help identify potential problems early. Cancer is more easily treated while it is still small and has not spread far.
Speak with your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have about your risk factors for developing any type of gynecologic cancer.
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Serving Anderson & Greenville SC, and Surrounding Areas
We welcome patients and family from all over the world, but mostly those living within a hundred-mile radius of Anderson and Greenville, South Carolina.
AnMed Health & Blue Ridge Radiation Oncology are charter members of Levine Cancer Institute's cancer care network. Carolinas HealthCare System's Levine Cancer Institute aims to build "a cancer institute without walls," by increasing access to specialist consultations, research offerings, program offerings and services to member institutions throughout the Carolinas.