Don’t Ignore the Signs

by: cancercompass

Whether you choose to listen or not, your body is often talking to you. Sometimes it is letting you know that everything is working properly (like being in a great mood after a solid workout), while other times your body might be sending warning signals.

A recent study concluded that when it comes to gynecologic cancers, there are five symptoms women ignore that could be important. Early detection can help lead to a more positive prognosis for many types of cancer, and therefore, it is always a good idea to take note of anything strange going on in your body, especially if it persists for more than two weeks.

According to the National Cancer Institute, there will be nearly 90,000 cases of gynecological cancers diagnosed in the U.S. in 2012. There are five main types of genealogical cancers – ovarian, uterine, cervical, vaginal and vulvar. Screenings are recommended for cervical cancer, but detecting the others might come down to listening to your body and making an appointment if you notice certain symptoms, or anything out of the ordinary.

In this study, 132 women ages 40-60 in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and New York City were given a list of eight symptoms of gynecological cancers. The list was not identified, and the participants had to simply take note of which symptoms would concern them the most. There were five symptoms that most women did not identify as possibly being due to cancer: vaginal itching or burning, back or abdominal pain, being tired all the time, having to urinate very badly or more often than usual, and bloating.

Since these signs are common, the women didn’t think they were a big deal. And, in many instances, these symptoms could be caused by something other than cancer. However, if you’re noticing these symptoms more than two weeks, it is a good idea to get checked out. Even if the explanation isn’t cancer, there could be something else going on that needs a remedy.

Cynthia Gelb, a health communication specialist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, made one really excellent point: “One key to recognizing when a common symptom might actually indicate cancer is for women to know what is normal for them.”

If something is going on that is uncommon for your body, then pay attention to what your body is telling you! Don’t be afraid to make an appointment with your doctor if anything seems amiss. And, if your body is speaking to you for more than two weeks, it might be time to listen.