A good family doctor or internist is great for your average health issues. They keep an eye on your general health and treat problems as they arise. When your primary doctor knows you and your body well, he or she can often spot emerging issues in their earliest stages then refer you to an appropriate specialist who goes further in depth. For women, the gynecologist is an important specialist.
The Importance of the Gynecologist
Other specialties, such as cardiology, pulmonary, podiatry, etc., are not generally sought out until there is a definite problem. For women, a regular check up with a gynecologist is a wise move whether or not there is a suspected illness. Female issues are not always obvious. Symptoms of problems with female organs can often be mistaken for other health issues. A skilled gynecologist will look at those same symptoms from a different point of view. This often results in the discovery of serious illnesses such as ovarian cancer long before it would be diagnosed by a general doctor.
The fact that ovarian cancer manifests in symptoms that can be attributed to less dire health problems is troubling. While the doctor is treating symptoms for one disease that the patient may or may not have, the cancer may continue to take its toll on the body. Not until symptoms increase and perhaps change will the true nature of the cause be diagnosed.
A Vital Element of the Female Health Team
A gynecologist focuses on those things pertaining to female health issues, so it is not surprising that they are often able to diagnose ovarian cancer first. According to the American Cancer Society ovarian cancers are not usually found in their early stages. Only 20% are found before they have a chance to develop further. For those women, the vast majority will live longer than five years after being diagnosed.
While it’s important to have a PAP test performed for cervical cancer, this test is not effective for detecting ovarian cancers. When it does indicate a problem leading to ovarian cancer, the cancer is usually in the later stages.This is generally because it grows silently with no or few symptoms.
Those symptoms that do manifest are often linked to other issues. Abdominal pain, bloating, and feeling full quickly are symptoms, as is frequent urination or a feeling that you need to go. Yet, these are also symptoms of much less serious health issues too.A gynecologist can rule out ovarian cancer when symptoms present.
Working with Your Gynecologist
Too often patients come to the doctor with concerns but fail to mention them until the end of the visit. Your gynecologist’s objective is to help you acquire and/or maintain health, particularly as it pertains to your female organs. You can aid in this by coming to your appointment prepared to talk about your concerns.
If you have been experiencing symptoms, write them down so you don’t leave anything out when you speak to your doctor. Be willing to talk about the concerns you have regarding your health. You may feel uncomfortable talking about having painful sex, and yet this is one of the symptoms of ovarian cancer. Fatigue is common among the population these days because of our stressed-out, hectic lives. It is also a symptom. That back pain that keeps you from being more active could be due to weak core muscles, or it could be due to ovarian cancer.
Speak to your gynecologist about any changes you’ve noticed in your system. Your doctor is an important part of your health team, and you are the primary element. The women at Cypress Women’s Center are health care providers committed to helping other women get and stay healthy. For excellent care from a gynecologist who truly understands the female body, call Cypress Women’s Center. We are women caring for women.