UVA Heath bringing awareness to gynecologic cancers that affect women at nearly all ages
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - UVA Health is bringing awareness to gynecologic cancers that affect women at nearly all ages.
“First of all, listen to your body and be your own best advocate,” UVA Department of OBGYN Chair Doctor Paola Gehrig said.
Women face a list of cancers that men do not.
“Ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, cervical cancer, vulvar cancer, vaginal cancer, and then a very rare group of tumors called gestational trophoblastic disease,” Dr. Gehrig said.
Endometrium, or uterus cancer, is the most common. Gehrig says these cases are going up, and in an unbalanced manner.
“So our Black patients are dying at a much higher rate than our white and Latino patients,” the doctor said.
That disparity has her concerned, and now working to educate and health women of all skin tones. Gehrig’s efforts include a push for other doctors to pay attention to the women they see.
“If you can’t find a provider who’s listening to you and paying attention to your symptoms, then go someplace else,” Gehrig said. “And if you are diagnosed with a GYN cancer, please ask to be referred to a GYN oncologist. We’re the only ones trained to take care of these cancers and we do the surgery and the chemotherapy and then help direct the radiation.”
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