Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The American Cancer Society provides Cancer Facts & Figures including Gynecologic Cancer figures as quoted from 2007.  You can find this information at
http://www.cancer.org/docroot/stt/stt_0.asp as well as many Cancer facts on this website.  While a cancer diagnoisis can be scary gathering good information as well as excellent support is vital in the recovery process. 

 Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month Fact Sheet
                               Commonly Asked Questions
  • What are gynecologic cancers?
Gynecologic 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 gynecologic cancers?
There are many factors that cause gynecologic cancers.  Medical research has
discovered that some classes of genes, called oncogenes and tumor 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.

  • Can gynecologic cancers be prevented?
Screening and self-examinations conducted regularly can result in the detection of
certain types of gynecologic 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

  • Who should treat gynecologic cancers?
Gynecologic cancers should be treated by a gynecologic oncologist.
A gynecologic oncologist is a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist who has an
additional three to four years of specialized training in treating gynecologic cancers
from an American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology-approved program.             This
subspecialty program provides training in the biology and pathology of gynecologic
cancers, as well as in all forms of treatment for these diseases, including surgery,
radiation, chemotherapy and experimental treatments.

  • How are gynecologic cancers treated?
Gynecologic cancers are treated by using one or more of the following; surgery,
radiation therapy or chemotherapy . The choice of therapy depends on the type and
stage of the cancer.

  • Who is at risk?
Every woman is at risk for developing a gynecologic cancer.      It is estimated that there
will be about78,000 new cases diagnosed and approximately 28,000 deaths from
gynecologic cancers in the United States during 2007.1


Friday, September 16, 2011

A supportive environment makes a difference for health care services

We always appreciate feedback from those that attend any of our health screenings or fairs.  We want to make the experience the best possible for the attendees and the providers.  We received this letter from a peer provider that benefitted from the services in an unexpected way. 

I attended the Rainbow Health Fair this Gay Pride in 2011. I was a volunteer in my specialty, and enjoyed reaching out to the public in that way. I also experienced as a first-time presenter the support of a whole community of women who were supporting other women in becoming more healthy, and that was a beautiful thing. For myself, getting a blood sugar test in that supportive environment enabled me to take the news that I was in the early stages (or mild anyhow) of pre-diabetes in a good way, and do something about it. I was told that it was nothing losing 20 pounds couldn't fix, and that I could do it.
I have since intensified my workout at the gym and have lost (8-29, so two months later) 8 pounds and am not done yet. I feel much healthier and I also feel supported by a wonderful community of women who wish me well. The news that my blood sugar was questionable had previously been given to me by a clinic in a way which I did not find supportive or motivating to change or even clear.