Five questions for women

Women often perceive examinations within early diagnostics of diseases and related consultations with a doctor as unpleasant events due to association with the most intimate parts of their body. However, refusing an opportunity of early diagnostics for this reason would be a bad decision. We have formulated five questions and possible answers for you. They can help you to evaluate, how important examinations are for you in early diagnostics of oncological diseases.

1. Does it concern me?    

Breast

Your risk of breast cancer development is increased if

• Your mother or sister (sisters) had breast cancer,

• You have already suffered from breast cancer before,

• Your age is more than 50 years,

• You found an unusual nodular alteration in the mammary glands during palpation,

• Mammography revealed multiple microcalcifications.

Uterine cervix

Risk factors for cervical cancer development:

• Age more than 50 years, onset of menopause only after 55 years, carcinoma “in situ” (precancerous condition)

• sexual intercourses at very young age and frequent change of sexual partners

• infections caused by human papillomavirus (HPV)

• compromised immune system

• childlessness, diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, overweight, breast or intestinal cancer

3. Do I really have to undergo early diagnostics?

Breast

After coming of 30 years, you should undergo an annual examination as a part of early diagnostics of breast cancer performed by your gynecologist. During the examination, your doctor carefully palpates the mammary glands and axillary cavities.

Uterine cervix

If cervical cancer is found at the precancerous or early stage, the cure rate is almost 100 percent. It is advisable to undergo gynecological examinations every year as a part of early diagnostics of cancer in women aged 20 and more years. The doctor makes a palpation test and takes a swab for the examination. Changes can be recognized with the help of a microscope.

4. What kind of alarm signals does my body send?

Breast

• Do your mammary glands differ from each other in an unusual way? Did the size of one mammary gland change significantly? Do mammary glands rise when you raise your arms up? Are both nipples located at the same height?

• When you lie on your back: do you feel nodular structures? You also need to palpate tissue between the mammary glands and axillary cavities.

• In the sitting/standing position: is secretion from the nipples released when squeezing? Does the nipple show any obvious signs of retraction?

Uterine cervix

• Hemorrhages, blood-red discharge or secretions of meat color outside the menstrual bleeding period

• Contact bleeding after sexual intercourses

• Mucous discharge and unpleasant odor from the vagina (discharge)

• Bleeding between menstruation, bloody discharge (spotting), occurring before or after menstruation (in women aged more than 35 years)

• Bleeding after onset of menopause

• Pain in the lower abdomen

• Unexplained weight loss

5. Who can I consult with?

If you have questions, best of all, consult with the doctor who you trust. Changes can have a completely innocuous reason. In any case, you should visit the doctor, even if you consider alterations as unimportant, or you are afraid of possible diagnosis: in oncological diseases, the chances of recovery are higher the earlier they are detected and treated.

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