#WorldGODay, the World Day of Gynecological Cancers, is celebrated on Sunday 20 September to involve women from all over the world on the importance of prevention, screening and early diagnosis
Knowledge is above all necessary to deal with the most common gynecological cancers of the uterine cervix, ovary, hedometrium, vagina and vulva. For this reason, on Sunday 20 September, the World Day of Gynecological Cancers is celebrated, the World GO Day (the acronym Go stands for oncological gynecology), thanks to the commitment of the European Society of Oncological Gynecology (ESGO) and the European network of associations ENGAGe Gynecological Cancer patients. For all women they gather women from all over the world to celebrate the first World Day of Gynecological Cancers (World GO Day www.worldgoday.org). Women all over the world can also join the social campaign on the topic, with the hashtags #WorldGODay and #GOfor.
The three most frequent enemies
Ovarian cancer, unfortunately, is often diagnosed late: there is no targeted screening, except as we will see in women with genetic risk, and above all it can give non-specific symptoms, often referred to the digestive system as a general sense of discomfort and abdominal pain . Also for these reasons, today it represents the leading cause of mortality from gynecological tumors in industrialized countries and, in Italy, the number of ovarian cancers estimated for the year 2020 and 2030 will be 5,339 and 5,756 respectively. Unfortunately, there is still no scientific certainty on how the disease is presented and also for this reason a real screening program for its prevention is not available, with the exception of women with a particular inheritance-family form. This is the case, for example, in women in whom there are mutations in the BRCA 1 and 2 genes, made famous by the "coming out" of Angelina Jolie. Obviously, if genetic situations of this type are present, constant monitoring of the situation associated with targeted genetic counseling becomes essential, to always evaluate together with the woman the preventive and therapeutic attitude to be followed. "It is important to remember, however, that knowing that you are carriers of the BRCA 1 and 2 gene mutation today represents the only primary disease prevention strategy – explains Domenica Lorusso, associate professor of gynecology and obstetrics at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome and research manager at the Gemelli IRCCS Polyclinic Foundation – because it allows us to propose to women with the mutation, a medical or surgical risk reduction strategy that allows to prevent the disease in a considerable number of patients, a very important strategy in a pathology which today lacks an effective screening that allows to anticipate the diagnosis ". Simpler, in terms of early recognition, is the case of cervical cancer, which has a specific characteristic: it is the second most frequent form of cancer among women between 15 and 44 years of age. For this reason it is essential to follow targeted screening programs, through the Pap-Test at a young age and the HPV-Test from the age of 30, but above all it is necessary to focus strongly on prevention: today there is the possibility of vaccinating against the HPV virus ( Papilloma Virus) so much so that this disease was the first form of cancer recognized by the World Health Organization as totally attributable to an infectious agent, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), for which a vaccine is currently available. Finally, endometrial cancer, or the inner lining of the mucous membrane of the uterus. In this case, the lesion occurs mainly from the age of menopause and obviously, over time, it can be more frequent. Also in this case, gynecological checks are essential for early detection of the cancerous lesion. "The early identification of both endometrial cancer and cervical cancer also allows today, in selected patients and in reference centers for the treatment of gynecological cancers, to propose conservative treatments for the uterus aimed at removing the disease without compromising the future possibilities of fertility for the patient – continues Lorusso – allowing in some situations to combine the combination of fertility and cancer that until a few years ago seemed to be two realities impossible to coexist when the disease hit the reproductive system ".
The power of knowledge to overcome cancer
In short, the day aims to remind you of the importance of increasing information on risk factors, symptoms, the possibility of early diagnosis and prevention strategies for these cancers. Obviously, cancers of the cervix (uterine cervix), endometrium and ovary, are, in order, the 5 gynecological cancers: cancer of the uterine cervix, ovary, uterus, vagina and vulva. Prevention through a healthy lifestyle as well as targeted vaccinations (such as that for human papilloma virus or HPV, responsible for malignant cell transformation in case of cervical cancer) and screening, when possible as in the case of cancer of the uterine cervix, are fundamental weapons for reducing risks and being able to act early on a possible injury. Attention should also be paid to weight control, regular physical activity, smoking cessation and nutrition. For endometrial cancer, it is thought that the disease is often linked to an increase in the presence of estrogen hormones in the blood that is not balanced correctly. The important thing is to arrive as soon as possible, be followed in the best possible way and face any pathology with the awareness that research is developing increasingly effective treatment strategies even in the most complex forms.