Learn how to prevent gynecologic cancer

[5 MIN READ]

In this article: 

  • September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month, so we’re offering a variety of articles to teach you about different types of gynecologic cancer and how to prevent them.

  • The Providence Gynecologic Oncology Program provides specialists in their field who can guide you through your cancer treatment.

  • It can be heartening to hear stories about women who have fought cancer — and won. We share a couple of our patients’ personal stories.

Each year, the American Cancer Society estimates that more than 100,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer. September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to learn about your risk for cancers that affect women — and undergo any recommended screenings. There are five types of gynecologic cancers — ovarian, endometrial/uterine, cervical, vulvar and vaginal. Everyone who has female reproductive organs is at risk for developing these kinds of cancers.

Here, we share resources on the different kinds of gynecologic cancers, the services Providence offers to fight them, some personal stories about women who have beat cancer, and the screenings you can undergo to identify and treat cancer early.

Personalized cancer care

If you are facing cancer, you want to know you’re not alone — and that you have a team of experts behind you every step of the way. The Providence Gynecologic Oncology Program provides specialized care for women with these types of cancers. In addition to the expert doctors in the program, you can benefit from nutrition specialists, social workers, genetic risk experts and other specialists who can give you the support you need.

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Beating ovarian cancer

Lisa Direzze was devastated when she learned she had ovarian cancer. Her doctor at Providence Holy Cross performed a minimally invasive surgery and was able to remove all the cancer. After her procedure, Direzze underwent chemotherapy for four weeks at City of Hope. She also met with a genetic counselor who tested 85 different genes for mutations that would indicate she was at a higher risk of recurrence. All the tests came back negative, which helped Direzze’s doctors determine her treatment for the next five years. Her story is an example of how the specialists at Providence work together to help their patients continue living their best lives.

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Robot-assisted surgery

When Leonaliza Siason learned she had endometrial cancer, she was eager to move ahead with the gold-standard treatment: a hysterectomy, or removal of the uterus and ovaries. Her doctor at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center used robot-assisted surgery for the procedure, which meant smaller incisions and a quicker recovery time for Leonaliza. Now, she is cancer-free and able to focus on other health issues.

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Cervical cancer prevention

Even though cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, more than 4,200 women die every year from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. In this article, we explain what happens during cervical cancer screening, how early it should begin and how often you need the screening. The article also talks about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which protects against cervical cancer and can be given to children as young as 11 or 12. Learn more about preventing HPV and other sexually transmitted diseases to protect your health.

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A leader in ovarian cancer research

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of gynecologic cancer death among women in the United States, which is why the researchers at Providence Cancer Institute are participating in a study that could improve survival rates. Providence is the only center in Oregon to offer the trial.

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Gynecologic cancer is deeply personal, but many types of gynecologic cancer have a high cure rate when you catch them early. Learn the signs and symptoms of each type of cancer, ask your doctor when you should get recommended screenings, and make sure you know your family history so you can determine whether you are at high risk. Together, we can beat this!

Find a doctor

If you are looking for a gynecologic oncologist, you can search for one who’s right for you in our provider directory.

Download the Providence app

We’re with you, wherever you are. Make Providence’s app your personalized connection to your health. Schedule appointments, conduct virtual visits, message your doctor, view your health records and more. Learn more and download the app.

Related resources

Women’s health resources roundup

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This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.

 

About the Author

The Providence Women's Health team is committed to providing useful and actionable insights, tips and advice to ensure women of all types can live their healthiest lives.

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