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Cancer Screening Specialist

Axmann & Whitaker Gynecologic Associates

Gynecologists located in Plano, TX

Each year, 80,000 American women are diagnosed with gynecologic cancers, which results in about 25,000 cancer-related deaths annually. These statistics drive the experienced team at Axmann & Whitaker Gynecologic Associates to use screening and other gynecologic cancer prevention techniques for every one of their patients in Plano, Texas. Brenda Axmann, MD and Mary Whitaker, MD do everything they can to keep women healthy and cancer-free.

Cancer Screening Q & A

What are the types of gynecologic cancers?

Gynecologic cancers develop in or around the female reproductive organs. These cancers include:

  • Cervical cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Uterine cancer
  • Vaginal cancer
  • Vulvar cancer

Uterine cancer is the most common, accounting for about half of all gynecologic cancers diagnosed each year. Endometrial cancer, a form of uterine cancer, causes bleeding between periods or after menopausing, allowing for early detection and treatment.

Ovarian cancer, on the other hand, is the second most common gynecologic cancer, but because it doesn’t have many outward symptoms, it’s difficult to detect and often spreads before anyone’s aware of it.

What causes gynecologic cancer?

The cause of many forms of cancer remains unknown. Evidence points to genetic mutations in some gynecologic cancers, while others result from exposure to certain toxins or other agents.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical cancer. It’s a virus that attacks the cervical lining, and in some cases leads to the development of abnormal, or precancerous, cells. If these cells continue to develop, cervical cancer can form.

HPV may also lead to certain vaginal or vulvar cancers, as well as mouth and throat cancer.

How are gynecologic cancers prevented?

Dr. Axmann and Dr. Whitaker use multiple tools and screenings to help prevent gynecologic cancers. The most common include:

  • Pap smears to test for precancerous changes in the cervix
  • Endometrial biopsies to test the cells of your uterine wall
  • Dilation and curettage (D&C) to collect tissue from your uterine wall
  • Image tests to look for abnormal growths

Depending on your age, your gynecologist may recommend a vaccine for HPV, as it’s the cause of most cervical cancer cases.

Additionally, Dr. Axmann and Dr. Whitaker counsel you on how to prevent certain cancers. They may discuss the need for regular Pap smears, guidelines for safe sex, and how eating an antioxidant-rich diet and engaging in regular exercise can reduce your risk of gynecologic cancer.

If you’re at risk of developing gynecologic cancer, consult with the professional team at Axmann & Whitaker Gynecologic Associates that has over 50 years combined experience. Call or book online today to schedule your appointment.