When to visit and what to expect
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists recommends a first visit to an OB/GYN between the ages of 13 and 15. This first visit may include discussion of topics such as body image, weight management, immunizations (including the HPV vaccine), contraception, and prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s). This early visit would generally not include a pelvic exam.
Pelvic exams and pap smears are generally recommended beginning at age 21 unless there are symptoms, or if a teen is sexually active before age 21–she should see an OB/GYN sooner to screen for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), HIV, and to discuss birth control options. A recent national survey of teen girls ages 14-19 reported that as many as 1 in 4 teenage girls has already contracted an STD.
While many women use birth control to prevent pregnancy and/or plan their families, some forms are helpful in regulating menstrual cycles, cramps, and in preventing ovarian cancer, pelvic inflammatory diseases, and other gynecological concerns. In choosing the right method, you must select a method that addresses your own particular issues and concerns.
KORF recommends that a young woman find a gynecologist at the onset of puberty with whom she feels comfortable discussing all the questions and concerns regarding the health of her reproductive system.
Biology & Treatment of SCCOHT
by Douglas A. Levine
The main focus of our research is elucidating the biology of gynecologic cancers with the goal of improving prevention and identifying effective treatment options for women with these malignancies. The efforts in our laboratory are towards translating basic research findings into clinical practice. More precisely, our ongoing studies aim to identify molecular features (e.g. gene mutations, aberrant protein expression) of each gynecologic cancer subtype and tailor therapeutic approaches according to genetic landscape of cancer. This precision medicine approach allows us to identify therapeutic options that could ultimately increase the odds of a patient’s successful response.
What is SCCOHT?
SCCOHT is a rare and highly aggressive form of ovarian cancer. The Katie Oppo Research Fund (KORF) funds research for SCCOHT as well as ALL forms of ovarian cancer.
The American Cancer Society estimates that 22,240 women will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer in the United States and about 14,070 women will die from this aggressive disease.
Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women, accounting for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system.
A woman’s risk of getting ovarian cancer during her lifetime is about 1 in 78. Her lifetime chance of dying from ovarian cancer is about 1 in 108.
Warning Signs of Ovarian Cancer
Persistent abdominal bloating or nausea
Changes in normal energy levels (fatigue)
Pain, pressure or tenderness in the pelvic area or lower back
Changes in appetite or bowel movements
Pressure to empty bladder, difficulty emptying bladder or change in frequency of urination
Pain during sex
Abnormal vaginal bleeding
Increased abdominal girth
Changes in menstruation
See your gynecologist for regular check-ups or if you have one or many of the above symptoms.