The main gynaecological and female cancers are breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer and cervical cancer. Of these, only breast cancer and cervical cancer have screening tests that are recommended. The mammogram is an X-ray of the breasts and is recommended for all women from the age of 40, while the pap smear/HPV test are recommended for women who have been sexually active from the age of 25. There are no recommended routine screening tests for uterine and ovarian cancer, but women should be educated about the early warning signs and be aware of risk factors like family history, cigarette smoking and obesity, all of which increase the risks of these cancers. Women should be wary of any abnormal vaginal bleeding, especially bleeding after the menopause, bleeding in between periods or bleeding after sex. Some women may also experience a lump in the lower abdomen, bloating, indigestion or changes in appetite annd bowel habits. Uterine and ovarian cancers are usually diagosed by ultrasound scan, which can be done in the clinic.
As with any cancer, early detection is crucial, as it results in better treatment outcomes and in many cases, early gynaecological cancer can be completely cured. As every woman is unique, we believe in an individualized comprehensive assessment of risk and tailoring specific tests for each patient.