What Causes Cancer?
Uncommonly cancers have a genetic contribution, meaning you were born with a gene mutation that predisposes you to the cancer, but there are many lifestyle and health factors that can increase your chances of cancer forming, which include:
- Smoking tobacco
- Consuming alcohol
- Other diseases, such as human papillomavirus (HPV), or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Any immune suppressive treatment for auto-immune conditions such as arthritis or after a transplant
- Advanced age (the older you get, the more likely you are to have a cancer diagnosis)
- Exposure to radiation
Getting Tested for Cancer
- If you have any change to your vaginal discharge or bleeding pattern or develop new pain in the pelvic area, please see your GP to ensure there are no obvious concerns with respect to gynaecological cancer.
- Please ensure you remain up to date with the National Cervical Screening Program every 5 years to help prevent cervical cancer.
- Please have a screening mammogram every 2 years from the age of 50. You can find out more at BreastScreen Australia.
If you’re concerned about new symptoms, please talk to your doctor straight away. They may then recommend some tests, which may include:
- Cervical screening tests, to check the health of your cervix
- Referral for colposcopy, where the cervix, vagina and vulva are examined with a special tool called a colposcope
- Blood tests to check for any abnormalities
- Scans which may include X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans or MRI scans
They may also recommend referral to a specialist to assess these new symptoms in more detail
Treatment and Management Options
Treatment options will be vary from person to person depending on the type of cancer and how advanced it is, plus the unique circumstances of each person’s condition.
Options can include:
- Surgery (including hysterectomy for cancer of ovaries, uterus or cervix, mastectomy for breast cancer, or oophorectomy for ovarian cancer). Read more about breast surgery options.
- Radiotherapy (radiology is available within the health precinct at the Royal Women’s hospital)
- Hormonal therapy
Specialist Care at Frances Perry House
The team at Frances Perry House includes gynaecological oncologists (cancer doctors specialising in gynaecological cancer surgery), breast oncologists and breast surgeons.
Our experienced, supportive specialists offer a range of cancer treatments and surgeries, including treatments to remove cancer as well as reconstructive surgeries as part of recovery. When treated for cancer at Frances Perry House, you may receive support from a multi-disciplinary team including breast care nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists and more.
If your GP is concerned about a possible diagnosis of cancer they may refer you to book a consultation with one of the Gynaecological Oncologists or Breast Surgeons who work at Frances Perry House. You can choose a specialist using our specialist search tool.