The incidence rate of gynecological cancers continues to steadily increase and worldwide project data collection has found breast cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer and uterine cancer are among the top 10 cancers in females worldwide. It is estimated that breast cancer is the most common and its prevalence globally is surpassing lung cancer.
Gynecological cancers include:
Vulvar cancer: most commonly affects the inner edges of the labia.
Vaginal cancer: cancer cells form in the muscular tube that connects the uterus to the outer genitalia.
Cervical cancer: one of the most common cancers which is found in the cervix. PAP test screening is crucial for prevention or early detection.
Uterine/endometrial cancer: the most common gynecological malignancy.
Ovarian cancer: the 5th leading cause of death in women but detected early can mean an excellent survival rate.
Bowel/bladder cancers: also impact the pelvic region.
Cancer rehab is poorly addressed! As Pelvic physiotherapists, we are able to focus on the effects of treatment and the burden that comes with the cancer itself, the radiation treatment, the chemotherapy and the surgeries.
Sexual health dysfunction can affect up to 80% of women following gynecological cancer and treatment. Numbness, scar tissue, painful intercourse, decreased libido, lack of lubrication, pelvic pain, and an inability to reach orgasm are common outcomes.
There may also be bladder issues including urge and or stress incontinence, urinary urgency and frequency, nocturia (nighttime urinating), bladder pain, and recurring UTIs.
Bowel effects may include urgency, frequent, fecal incontinence, and constipation.
Breast cancer survivors also experience many of the same symptoms secondary to the effects of treatment.
Please know that you are not alone. As a Pelvic Physiotherapist, I target the consequences of oncological treatment. We address the pelvic floor muscles and the surrounding tissue with manual therapy. We provided education, exercise prescription and have a slew of helpful tools to guide you in your rehab journey.
Please reach out if you have any questions…anytime!