6 common misconceptions about gynaecological cancer

Can you identify the warning signs of gynaecological cancer? Many people cannot. Each day in Australia, approximately 15 women will be diagnosed with gynaecological cancer and 5 women will die from the disease. Please take a moment to review these common misconceptions. It may help save your life.

1. Gynaecological cancer only affects older women.

While it predominantly affects women after menopause, gynaecological cancer can also develop in young women.

2. There are no symptoms (it's a silent killer).

Many women experience early symptoms but these symptoms are unspecific and therefore often ignored. Symptoms can include: irregular bleeding, continual abdominal pressure or bloating, vaginal discharge, changes in bowel or urinary habits, and changes to the vulva.

3. The pap smear picks up all types of gynaecological cancer.

This tests the cells of the cervix, identifying abnormalities that could develop into cancer. It does not test for other gynaecological cancers.

4. People with gynaecological cancer are promiscuous.

Actually, you can get any of these cancers even if you’re a virgin. 

5.You can't get gynaecological cancer after a hysterectomy.

This surgery does not prevent cancer developing in other parts of a woman’s reproductive system.

6. Today survival rates for gynaecological cancer are high.

While the detection and treatment of gynaecological cancer have improved, the survival rates are lower than that of breast cancer. 

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Last updated:
18 January 2017