Press Release: Gynecologic Cancer Foundation Urges Women to Take Control of Their Gynecologic Health

“Four Things You Can Do!”

Chicago, IL – May 8, 2002 – Every seven minutes a woman in the United States is diagnosed with cancer of the reproductive organs. Gynecologic cancers are the fourth most common cancers in American women today, yet are rarely discussed.

“More than 80,000 women – mothers, grandmothers, wives, daughters, sisters, and significant others – are diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer each year,” Dr. Bobbie Gostout, spokesperson for the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation and consultant in gynecologic surgery at the Mayo Medical Center in Rochester, Minn. “In other words, approximately one in every 20 women in the United States will be told they have a gynecologic cancer at sometime in their lives.”

Gynecologic cancers include those of the female reproductive tract, such as ovarian, cervical, uterine, vaginal, vulvar or tubal cancer. These cancers do not have to be fatal if women are aware of the warning signs and the importance of early detection and proper treatment

The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation (GCF) has developed “Four Things You Can Do!” to help women safeguard their own health – their own lives.

“Women need to recognize how important maintaining a regular gynecologic health routine is, similar to performing regular breast self-exams,” said Gostout. “Knowing the symptoms of the cancers and what questions to ask your doctor are equally important.”

The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation aims to educate millions of women on four simple way to take control of their gynecologic health. Here are the“Four Things You Can Do!” for women to proactively maintain gynecologic health:

G – Get to know your family history

It is important for women to learn about their maternal and paternal family histories of breast, ovarian, uterine, colon and prostate cancers. The genetic risk for ovarian cancer can be trasmitted through either the mother or the father, making both family histories equally important. Predisposition yourself due to family history is the most significant risk factor for ovarian cancer.  Alert your gynecologist about your family history of cancer so preventative steps can be taken.

C – Conduct an online cancer risk assessment at www.wcn.org

Take 15 minutes out of your day to determine your risk for developing gynecologic and breast cancer by logging onto the award-winning Women’s Cancer Network (WCN) website, www.wcn.org. Women can receive a free, personalized assessment of their risk for developing cervical, ovarian, uterine and breast cancer. The WCN website also has in-depth information on female cancers, resources for women who have been diagnosed with cancer, and information on gynecologic oncologists, experts who specialize in treating cancers of the reproductive organs.

M – Make an appointment for your annual gynecologic exam and Pap test

Women of all ages should have an annual gynecologic exam and Pap test. Some of the most common gynecologic cancers have no symptoms and can only be detected by regular visits to your gynecologist. A regular gynecologic healthcare routine is critical to maintaining health and early detection.

About The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation:

The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation (GCF) was established in 1991 as a not-for-profit charitable organization by the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (SGO) to bring knowledge and ultimately hope to all women concerning cancers of the female reproductive system. GCF strives to heighten public awareness about gynecologic cancer prevention, early diagnosis and proper treatment, and support research and training related to gynecologic cancer prevention and care. GCF advances this mission with public and private funds that aid in the development and implementation of awareness, prevention and research programs.

GCF was recently named one of “America’s 100 Best Charities” our of more than 819,000 charities in America by Worth magazine in December 2001. Equally impressive is the fact that out of the 2 health organizations named to the list, GCF was one of only two organizations solely focused on women’s health. For more information about GCF and it’s programs, contact GCF’s Toll Free Information Hotline at 1-800-444-4441 or visit GCF’s website at www.wcn.org/GCF/.

Spotlight

This special section in Self Magazine features a GYN surgeon and 34-year-old (at the time of diagnosis) patient.

Awareness

Check out CervivorTV’s new webisode: 5th National Race to End Women’s Cancer. Hosted by the fabulous cervivor herself, Tamika Felder! Click here.

Research

The Foundation’s research award winners will be notified in January. Thank you to all who sent in their applications.

Education

The Foundation for Women’s Cancer is pleased to announce its upcoming FREE Telephone Education Workshop Dec. 18 on Cervical Cancer. For more information, click here.