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Signs of Gynecologic Cancer

From the GYN Cancer Articles List

gynecologic cancer symptomsWhat are some signs and symptoms that could indicate a gynecologic cancer?

There are several signs and symptoms which may indicate gynecologic cancer, but, unfortunately, many of them are vague or can be the same as for many other non-cancerous conditions. So though it is important to be aware of the possible symptoms so you can seek medical treatment quickly, you shouldn’t panic if you experience some of them. Keeping a symptom diary can be helpful for monitoring and diagnosis, but don’t wait to call your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

Abnormal bleeding

Abnormal bleeding at any time can be a symptom of gynecologic cancer, including uterine, ovarian, vaginal, and cervical. If you are postmenopausal with bleeding, it could be a sign of uterine (specifically endometrial), ovarian, or Fallopian tube cancer. If you have had a hysterectomy, vaginal bleeding can indicate a vaginal cancer or cancer recurrence concern. Any bleeding that is abnormal for you should be discussed with your doctor. This includes bleeding between periods, heavier bleeding, more frequent periods, and posthysterectomy or postmenopausal bleeding.

Abdominal bloating

Abnomial bloating can occur for a wide variety of reasons (PMS, overeating), but it can also be a sign of uterine or ovarian cancer. If you experience chronic bloating unrelated to your cycle, eating, or drinking, talk to your doctor.

Chronic fatigue

Being tired can be par the course for a busy woman, and a bit of rest and downtime should alleviate it. If you experience chronic fatigue, however, it could be a sign of undiagnosed cancer. If after resting you are still unable to manage your regular tasks and feel exhausted, you need to talk to your doctor.

Unexpected weight loss

While losing weight can be a good thing, doing so unexpectedly may not be. Changes in weight without a reason may indicate there is an underlying health concern, including gynecologic cancer. If you lose more than 10 pounds without a cause, get in touch with your doctor immediately.

Loss of appetite or feeling full quickly

A loss of appetite or feeling full could lead to some wanted weight loss, but it can also prevent you from getting the nutrition you need. A lack of appetite can be a sign of various cancerous or other underlying health issues. Feeling full can be a symptom of ovarian cancer. Talk to your doctor if you find you aren’t hungry or you quickly feel full when eating. It’s important that you not ignore these symptoms.

Frequent nausea or indigestion

Though nausea and indigestion can be the result of what you eat or some gastrointestinal issues, at times they are also present when there is a gynecologic cancer such as ovarian cancer. Cancerous tumors or swelling from gynecologic cancer that press on the digestive tract could cause these symptoms. If you are feeling frequent nausea or indigestion for an unexplained reason, schedule an appointment with your doctor to find out the cause.

Lower back, abdominal or pelvic pain

Persistent pain can indicate something is wrong. Lower back pain may be a sign of ovarian or uterine cancer. Chronic abdominal discomfort and pain may be symptoms of Fallopian tube and ovarian cancer. Pelvic pain and pain with urination or intercourse can be signs of vulvar or vaginal cancer. Pelvic pain and pressure can be a sign of endometrial cancer, a type of uterine cancer. If you experience any unexplained pain, talk to your doctor.

Vagina or vulva changes

Any vaginal or vulvar changes need to be checked for cancer. Vaginal itching and discharge, changes in the skin, discoloration, sores, rashes, bumps, and pain can all indicate the presence of vulvar or vaginal cancer. Talk to your doctor if you notice anything different with your vagina or vulva.

Bathroom issues

Some gynecologic cancers can cause urinary urgency and frequency. Painful urination can be a symptom of vulvar or vaginal cancer. Gynecologic cancers may also cause some diarrhea and constipation issues. Having bathroom issues for unexplained reasons can be symptoms of vaginal, vulvar, or ovarian cancer, so talk to your doctor if you experience a change in bathroom habits.

Swollen leg

A swollen leg combined with pain and vaginal discharge could be a sign of cervical cancer. If cervical cancer causes pelvic lymph nodes to become obstructed, the leg on the affected side can swell. If you notice one leg seems swollen, get in touch with your doctor immediately and share any other symptoms you may be experiencing.

The sooner cancer is diagnosed, the quicker treatment can begin, and the better your prognosis can be. If you have any concerns about any symptoms you are having, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. You are your own best advocate, so be persistent about anything that concerns you.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

08-26-2015 - 05:57 PM


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