Women’s health: knowing which types of cancer affect women the most

International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8, is also another opportunity to seize the opportunity to address women’s health. According to data from the National Cancer Institute (INCA), in women, except non-melanoma skin cancer, tumors of the breast (29.7%), colon and rectum (9.2%), cervix (7.5%), lung (5.6%) and thyroid (5.4%) are among the main ones.

“Although breast cancer is still the one that affects women the most, there are other high incidence tumors that should be included in the prevention and alert routine, because the sooner the discovery is made, the greater the are the chances of success of the treatment”, says Diocésio Andrade, oncologist at Oncoclínicas Ribeirão Preto.

Colon and rectal cancer, for example, considered the second most common in women, is treatable and in most cases curable when caught early. “Most of these tumors come from polyps, which are benign lesions that can grow on the inside lining of the large intestine. One way to prevent the appearance of tumors would be the detection and removal of polyps before they become malignant,” explains the doctor.

Cervical cancer is the third most common in women, with a forecast of 16,000 new cases per year in Brazil by 2022, according to the INCA. “Vaccination against the sexually transmitted virus is the essential preventive measure in the fight against the disease, since 90% of cancer cases are linked to the incidence of HPV in women”, emphasizes Dr. Diocese.

When diagnosed early, there may be a reduction of up to 80% in mortality from this type of tumor. According to the oncologist, the first signs appear with vaginal bleeding, followed by discharge and pain in the pelvis.

Breast cancer

In Brazil, there are approximately 67,000 new breast cancer diagnoses each year, according to the National Cancer Institute (INCA). “In general, mammography is the main preventive examination to identify breast tumours. It should be practiced by all women over 40 and the decision to postpone this examination or not should only be taken after medical advice. Other examinations can also help with the diagnosis, such as ultrasound,” explains Diocésio Andrade, oncologist at Oncoclínicas Ribeirão Preto.

The chances of cure reach 95% or more when the tumor is discovered early, and the treatment is less invasive, which greatly improves the quality of life during and after the treatment of the disease.

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