A woman’s cancer information is often her first line of defense against cancer. Regular mammograms and pap tests can discover many cancers while still in an early stage, dramatically improving the long-term outlook. While about 850,000 women in the U.S. hear the dreaded words “You have cancer” every year, there are many exciting advances in cancer treatment.
Today about two-thirds of the cancer deaths in America are preventable. While no one can control their genetics, regular visits to an OBGYN Anniston can be extremely important for a woman’s health.
The most common cancers in women are breast cancer, lung cancer, endometrial cancer and thyroid cancer.
Breast Cancer – 246,660 new cases in women in 2016
Women have a 1:8 chance of developing breast cancer during their lives. If you don’t believe in regular mammograms, you will want to seriously reconsider this position. When caught very early, the 5-year survival rate is almost 100%.
Protect yourself: The American Cancer Society is now recommending annual mammograms for women 45 and older. Risk factors for breast cancer include a sedentary lifestyle, a high fat diet and being overweight. Regular alcohol consumption is also a risk factor for breast cancer.
Lung Cancer – 106,470 new cases in women in 2016
Over the past 40 years, lung cancer cases in women have almost doubled. Secondhand smoke appears responsible for more than half of those cancers. It’s possible that women’s lungs are more easily damaged by secondhand smoke and estrogen may be fueling cancerous cells.
Protect yourself: Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. Studies have shown that one 325 mg aspirin daily can help protect former smokers or those exposed to secondhand smoke. Check with your doctor.
Endometrial Cancer – 60,050 new cases in women in 2016
Endometrial or uterine cancer is mostly found in postmenopausal women. The average age when this cancer is discovered is 60. There aren’t any good screening tests yet for endometrial cancer.
Protect yourself: Endometrial cancer is found 2-3 times more often in overweight women, so stay at a healthy weight. Taking birth control pills for just 5 years reduces the risk of developing endometrial cancer by 25%.
Thyroid Cancer – 49,350 new cases in women in 2016
The likelihood of being diagnosed with thyroid cancer has more than doubled during the last 20 years. However, it’s believed that this increase is because more cancers are discovered during MRIs or CT scans for another problem.
Protect yourself:The latest research suggests monitoring a small nodule and not rushing into surgery. If surgery is necessary, removing only half of the thyroid could be an option, avoiding the necessity of lifelong thyroid hormone medication. Get a second opinion before getting surgery for a nodule under 1 cm.
Regional Medical Center has been treating cancer patients since 1988. This Cancer Center in Alabama holds the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer. If your OBGYN in Anniston has recommended that you see an oncologist, you will receive excellent care at RMC.