There are many reasons as to why a woman might be prone to developing a gynecologic cancer; however, research does indicate that some classes of genes (oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes) may become damaged (through smoking, aging, environmental influences, or inheritance) and result in the uncontrolled spread and growth of abnormal cells.This spread of abnormal cells, originates from the female reproductive organs: the cervix, the ovaries, the uterus, the fallopian tubes, the vagina, and the vulva. And although there are five common types of gynecologic cancers that women suffer from: cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulva cancer, a sixth and very rare fallopian tube cancer also exists.1. Cervical Cancer – begins in the lower, narrow end of the uterus which connects to the top end of the vagina. Usually caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), cervical cancer tends to affect women mainly in their 30′s or over. When diagnosed early, cervical cancer is highly treatable, thus resulting in a high survival rate.2. Ovarian Cancer – begins in the ovaries, which are located each side of the uterus, and is responsible for more deaths than any other cancer associated with the female reproductive system. Although, when caught at an early stage, ovarian cancer treatments tend to be quite effective.3. Uterine Cancer – begins in the uterus, which is the pear-shaped organ found in the woman’s pelvis, and where the baby grows while a woman is pregnant. Although the risk of being diagnosed with uterine cancer grows with age (after the menopause), all women are at risk from it.4. Vaginal Cancer – begins in the vagina, the hollow, tube-like channel situated at the bottom of the uterus, that runs through to the outside of the body. Although virginal cancer is considered rare in most women, all women are actually at risk from it.5. Vulva Cancer – begins in the vulva, which is the outer part of the female genital organ (rather like the foreskin of a male penis), and when put together with virginal cancer, accounts for between 6% – 7% of all gynecologic cancer cases diagnosed in the U.S.There exists a sixth gynecologic cancer, Fallopian Tube Cancer that begins in the fallopian tubes which connect the ovaries to the uterus; although, this type of cancer is so rear, it is hardly ever spoken about.Each gynecologic cancer has its own unique set of signs and symptoms, together with risk factors (chances of developing the disease) and prevention strategies. Although in general, when common gynecologic cancers are diagnosed at an early stage (because frequent screening is recommended), most can be treated quite effectively.
Obesity is epidemic in America today with around two thirds of the population tipping scales beyond a healthy weight. Much of the public knows that excess weight can lead to heart disease. Less known is the clear tie between obesity and cancer that medical researchers have discovered over the last decade.At first, according to researchers at the American Cancer Society, a link was made between uterine cancer and obesity. Then breast cancer was associated with being overweight and the list now includes aggressive prostate cancer, colon, esophagus, kidney, and pancreas cancer,Researchers are fairly certain that being large can encourage lymphoma, ovarian, cervical, liver cancer and leukemia. Dr. Alpha Patel of the American Cancer Society told the magazine “Nutrition Action” that there is a linear relationship between weight gain and risk of cancer. The more weight one gains, the higher the risk of getting the deadly disease.Though researchers are not certain of the mechanism that links excess weight and cancer, they know that excess fat cells cause the body to produce more cancer promoting growth factors.Food Choices, Weight and CancerClearly eating high fat foods can cause a person to gain weight. Cheese, meats of all kinds and sugars lead to weight gain especially in people who are inactive or who don’t burn up all the calories they consume. For example a single fast food hamburger can contain up to 1000 calories, easily enough for a whole day of activity yet most people eat other foods with a beef patty and have two other meals as well.Food choices that lead to obesity can also lead to cancer growth. Research shows that casein, a protein found in milk and cheese, promotes cancer growth. While not carcinogenic, casein encourages cancer so people who eat more than small amounts of milk products like cheese greatly raise their cancer risk.Last August, researchers at UCLA announced that they had discovered that fructose, a common sweetener used in processed foods like colas helps cancer cells thrive and divide. Dr. Anthony Heaney told Reuters News Service that “cancer cells readily metabolize fructose” and proliferate.High fructose corn syrup is a product invented by the corn industry to help sell its huge surpluses of hybridized corn to the processed food industry. The chemical is extremely common in mainstream processed foods and has been implicated in diabetes and weight gain. Learning that the chemical also causes cancer cells to divide and multiply should inspire all Americans to read food labels and avoid foods with this substance in them.Obesity is now the main cause of cancer in the US since smoking rates have dropped dramatically. This condition is a main driver in the high health care costs now afflicting both the public and private sectors in the United States.For more health news, click the link below.