The Physician’s Voice: Gynecologic cancer awareness

From WCMS The Physician’s Voice:

Gynecologic Cancer Awareness

written by Dr. Blair Harkness from Hope Women’s Cancer Center.

September is Gynecologic cancer awareness month.  Each year about 72,000 woman are diagnosed with gynecologic cancers in the United States.  Gynecologic cancers arise from the female reproductive tissues including the cervix, uterus, ovaries, vulva and vagina.
Cervical cancer is largely a sexually transmitted disease.  The main cause of cervical cancer is the human papilloma virus(HPV).  At least half of sexually active people will be exposed to HPV at some point in their lives, but most will not get cervical cancer.  Cervical cancer is largely preventable with a vaccine against HPV.  HPV vaccine is recommended for girls ideally between ages 11-12, but at least before onset of sexually activity.  Pap smears and testing for HPV virus can help identify precancerous cells that can be treated to prevent cervical cancer. Vulvar and vaginal cancers are quite rare and are also most commonly associated with the HPV virus.  Smoking increases the risk of cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers.  Cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancer are typically treated with surgery and/or radiation.
Uterine cancer is the most common of the gynecologic cancers and is usually found at an early stage because it presents with symptoms that cause women to seek evaluation from their physician.  The most common type of uterine cancer arises in the inside lining of the uterus or the endometrium.  The most common symptom of uterine cancer is abnormal uterine bleeding especially after menopause, but this can occur in younger women as well.  Risk factors for uterine cancer include being obese, being over age 50, taking estrogen without progesterone after menopause, and chronically having irregular periods before starting menopause.  Women with chronic irregular menses before menopause and women with any bleeding after menopause should see their physician for further evaluation.  Most uterine cancer does not run in families; however a small percent can run in families with other cancers such as colon and ovarian cancer.  Women can reduce their risk of uterine cancer by getting regular physical exercise and maintaining a normal body weight. Uterine cancer is typically treated with surgery, but a small percentage of cases may require chemotherapy and/or radiation as well.
Ovarian cancer is a relatively rare cancer.  Unfortunately there are no effective screening tests for ovarian cancer.  Symptoms of ovarian cancer include bloating, abdominal pain/distention, feeling full quickly while eating, pelvic pain/pressure, and  changes in bathroom habits with changes in bowel or bladder function.  Be in tune with your body and if you have changes that you cannot explain, talk to your doctor.  If you are diagnosed with ovarian cancer ask your doctor to refer you to a board certified gynecologic oncologist.   Treatment of ovarian cancer most commonly involves both surgery and chemotherapy.  Proper surgery is important for best outcomes.  Chemotherapy is a liquid medication most commonly given through the patient’s veins, but for ovarian cancer in most cases outcomes are improved if chemotherapy is given as a wash inside the belly as well, call intra-peritoneal treatment.  Gynecologic oncologists are trained in this specialized chemotherapy treatment.
Gynecologic oncologists are OB/GYN physicians with 3 to 4 years of additional training in the management of gynecologic cancers.  Board certified gynecologic oncologists have met strict criteria for training and experience in the management of gynecologic cancers.  If you have been diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer ask your doctor to refer you to a board certified gynecologic oncologist.

C. Blair Harkness, MD
Dr. Harkness is a Board Certified Gynecologic Oncologist at Hope Women’s Cancer Center. He attended Medical School University of South Florida, took his residency training at MAHEC, and took a fellowship at the University of Minnesota. He is a member of the Western Carolina Medical Society.


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One thought on “The Physician’s Voice: Gynecologic cancer awareness

  1. Redpill1

    There is no Cervical Cancer Crisis or Epidemic in the US.

    -HPV by itself does not cause cervical cancer. Evidence shows it takes a combination, or co-infections – multiple viruses or virus/bacteria combinations to cause cervical cancer. Examples include Epstein Bar virus, HIV, and Chlamydia, along with HPV.
    -It has never been proven that the HPV vaccine prevents cervical cancer. There is no scientific evidence of any kind.
    -There are over 100 strains of HPV, only about 15 of which can contribute to cervical cancer. HPV vaccines only include two to four strains, leaving you open to more than two-thirds of the dangerous strains. You will still need to get routine screenings for cervical cancer.
    -You don’t change or reduce the incidence of cancer by receiving the vaccine.
    -Most of the strains in the shot do not cover Black females-a group that has a higher chance of developing cervical cancer. It’s possible that females in other ethnic groups such as Hispanics and Asians may also not be covered by this shot. No one bothered to check.: http://www.medscape(dot)com/viewarticle/813365
    -The average age for a female to develop cervical cancer is between the ages of 45-55. Yes, there are rare exceptions to this like anything in life but 12 year old children DO NOT GET CERVICAL CANCER. Children do not get Cervical Cancer. Cervical cancer is one of the rarest cancers in the U. S., with 12,000 cases reported per year and 4,000 deaths.
    -Gardasil was “fast tracked.” This was illegal. The FDA requires new vaccines to undergo testing and a waiting period of 4 years. Gardasil was developed and on the market in 6 months, with FDA approval.
    -If the vaccine worked, which has never been proven, it will take 20 years or more before that can be determined because that’s how long cervical cancer takes to develop naturally. It has not been decided by the CDC and Merck if boosters will be needed for the next 20 years.

    *FACT: While there are well-established cancer registries in the United States, it will take decades before the impact of vaccine on cervical cancer is observed. More proximal measures of vaccine impact include outcomes such as prevalence of HPV vaccine types, incidence of cervical pre-cancers and genital warts.
    Post-licensure monitoring of HPV vaccine in the United States, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,Vaccine.2010 Jul 5;28 (30):4731-7. Epub 2010 Feb 25, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih(dot)gov/pubmed/201886881.
    *FACT: The finding of HPV viral DNA integrated in most cellular genomes of cervical carcinomas supports epidemiologic data linking this agent to cervical cancer however, direct causation has not been demonstrated.
    Cervical Cancer Prevention, Health Professional Version, National Cancer Institute (NCI) http://www.cancer(dot)gov/cancertopics/pdq/prevention/cervical/healthprofessional/allpages.
    *FACT: If a woman who has been exposed to vaccine-relevant HPV submits to HPV vaccination, her risk of developing precancerous lesions may increase by:
    44.6% – post Gardasil® Vaccination
    32.5% – post Cervarix® Vaccination
    May 2006 VRBPAC Report –
    *FACT: In the September 2008, FDA Closing Statement on Gardasil it was noted that 73.3% of girls in the clinical trials developed “new medical conditions” post vaccination. 17 girls died during the clinical trials. September 2008 FDA Closing Statement on Gardasil
    http://holyhormones(dot)com/wp content/uploads/downloads/2010/11/gardasil091108.pdf
    *FACT: The vaccine does not protect against infection from several other HPV subtypes, and it is no better than
    placebo in clearing already existing infection…
    Dr. John T. Schiller Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Laboratory of Cellular Oncology,
    Division of Basic Sciences, National Cancer Institute,
    National Institutes of Health

    -Merck Dr. Exposes Gardasil Scandal: Ineffective, Deadly, Very Profitable
    -India: Supreme Court HPV Vaccine Controversy Continues
    -HPV Vaccine Trials in India: Is Merck above the law?
    -HPV Vaccine Damaged Girls in Colombia Stir International Quest for Justice http://www.activistpost(dot)com/2015/01/hpv-vaccine-damaged-girls-in-colombia.html
    -TV2 Denmark Documentary on HPV Vaccine Shows Lives of Young Women Ruined
    -French petition against HPV vaccines http://sanevax(dot)org/french-petition-hpv-vaccines/
    -Japan: International Medical Researchers Issue Warning about HPV Vaccine Side Effects http://sanevax(dot)org/japan-medical-experts-warning-hpv-vaccine-side-effects/
    -Breaking News from Japan: International Symposium on the Adverse Reactions Experienced by those Vaccinated with Human Papillomavirus Vaccines: http://sanevax(dot)org/japan-hpv-adverse-event-symposium/
    – HPV Vaccines: Japan requires disclosure of side effects http://sanevax(dot)org/hpv-vaccines-japan-requires-disclosure-of-side-effects/
    -Why HPV Vaccines May Not Be As Effective As We Thought: New research points out a potential flaw in the vaccines’ designs

    Cervical cancer tends to occur in midlife. Most cases are not found in women younger than 50. It rarely develops in women younger than 20. Many older women do not realize that the risk of developing cervical cancer is still present as they age. More than 15% of cases of cervical cancer are found in women over 65. However these cancers rarely occur in women who have been getting regular tests to screen for cervical cancer before they were 65.

    Update: Merck has increased the amount of Aluminum in Gardasil.
    Stronger More Toxic Gardasil Vaccine Approved by FDA:http://healthimpactnews(dot)com/2014/stronger-more-toxic-gardasil-vaccine-approved-by-fda-will-more-girls-suffer-and-die/.
    10 December 2014: The FDA approved the use of a reportedly “new and improved” version of Gardasil, which will be marketed as Gardasil 9. According to the FDA approval letter, this action was taken without consultation with VRBPAC (the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee) which is responsible for reviewing and evaluating data concerning the safety, effectiveness, and appropriate use of vaccines and related biological products.

    Take a look at what Aluminum does to your brain:

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