September is Gynaecologic Cancer Awareness Month. Since 1999, the Foundation for Women’s Cancer understands the importance of bringing awareness about gynaecologic cancers. After creating the month, each year the Foundation for Women’s Cancer strives to bring attention about these cancers. This year is no different. We are encouraging our advocates and friends to #sharethepurplelove throughout the month.
This year we will take a special focus on clinical trial awareness. Unfortunately, enrolment in stage three clinical trials has decreased for gynaecologic cancers. Throughout the month, we will share facts about clinical trials and bring attention to the crisis.
What can you do to help end women’s cancer?
- Use hashtags #EndWomensCancer, #sharethepurplelove and #GCAM in related social media posts focused on bringing awareness about gynaecologic cancers.
- Write or share social media posts about clinical trial awareness. Feel free to share our social media posts and use the hashtag #Trials4GynCancerNOW.
- Read more about clinical trials on their website.
- #Sharethepurplelove by donating to the Foundation for Women’s Cancer in honour of GCAM. Donations will help support research, awareness and education for gynaecologic cancers.
- Write or share social media posts about recognizing the symptoms of gynaecologic cancers and the importance of being treated by a gynaecologic oncologist if diagnosed. The shareable photos are available in our GCAM fast sheets document.
- Share photos of #EndWomensCancer fundraising events or photos of advocates and survivors wearing purple, the designated colour of gynaecologic cancer awareness.
- Share your story on social media. We want to hear from our survivors and advocates!
- Print out the GCAM posters for your office.
- Register for the National Race to End Women’s Cancer on Nov. 5, 2017, in Washington, D.C.—even if you don’t participate you can still donate!
- Follow FWC’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages as the Foundation shares inspiration, information and fun throughout the month.
THE BREAKDOWN ON GYNAECOLOGICAL CANCER
Why it is important?
What are gynaecologic cancers?
Gynaecologic cancers are the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells originating in the female reproductive organs, including the cervix, ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, vagina and vulva.
What causes gynaecologic cancers?
There are many factors that cause gynaecologic cancers. Medical research has discovered that some classes of genes, called oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes, promote the growth of cancer. The abnormal function of these genes can be acquired (e.g., through smoking, aging, environmental influences) or inherited. Almost all cervical cancers and some cancers of the vagina and vulva are caused by a virus known as HPV, or Human Papillomavirus.
Gynaecologic Cancer Statistics
In 2015, it was estimated that 98,280 women would be diagnosed with a gynaecologic cancer and some 30,440 will die from the disease.
How to prevent it?
Can gynaecologic cancers be prevented?
Screening and self-examinations conducted regularly can result in the detection of certain types of gynaecologic cancers in their earlier stages, when treatment is more likely to be successful and a complete cure is a possibility. Diet, exercise and lifestyle choices play a significant role in the prevention of cancer. Additionally, knowledge of family history can increase the chance of prevention or early diagnosis by determining if someone may have a gene which makes them susceptible to cancer.
How to deal with it?
Who should treat gynaecologic cancers?
Gynaecologic cancers should be treated by a specialist with advanced training and demonstrated competence, such as a gynaecologic oncologist.
A gynaecologic oncologist is a board-certified obstetrician/gynaecologist who has an additional three to four years of specialized training in treating gynaecologic cancers from an American Board of Obstetrics and Gynaecology-approved fellowship program. This subspecialty program provides training in the biology and pathology of gynaecologic cancers, as well as in all forms of treatment for these diseases, including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and experimental treatments.
How are gynaecologic cancers treated?
Gynaecologic cancers are treated by using one or more of the following: surgery, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. The choice of therapy(s) depends on the type and stage of the cancer.
Source: American Cancer Society, Inc.