News ID: 134785
Published: 0305 GMT January 11, 2016

Genetic testing makes early cancer detection possible

Genetic testing makes early cancer detection possible

Genetic testing can help assess a woman’s chances of developing cancer and make it possible to diagnose and treat the disease in early stages, said a member of National Association of Iranian Gynecologists and Obstetricians.

"Breast, ovarian, cervical and womb cancers are among the most common types of cancers among women," Dr. Shahla Chaichian added.

She said breast cancer could be detected using genetic testing long before symptoms become apparent.

"Women with a family history of breast cancer are recommended to undergo genetic tests and lumpectomy — if needed — to reduce the risk of developing cancer," said Chaichian.

She said special centers for treating breast cancers need to be established in Iran to provide patients with speedy and easy access to all specialists ranging from gynecologists and oncologists to chemotherapists and plastic surgeons.

"Such a complex can prevent any delay in treatment and increases chances of full recovery," she said.

Results of recent studies have confirmed that ovarian cancer is caused by formation of cancerous cells in cervix, said Chaichian, adding the removal of ovaries and cervix in women with high risk of developing cancers could be lifesaving.

"Uterine fibroids is another common disorder among women," she pointed out, adding sometimes fibroids and cervix are removed together to avert the risk of cancer later in life.

She said fibroids are removed through laparoscopic surgery. "Laparoscopic surgeries are safe and very rarely lead to early menopause in women," she said.

The specialist noted that treatment of diseases affecting female reproductive systems must not give rise to damages to their organs and lower fertility rates.

She said many diseases are caused by hormonal changes in women which can directly or indirectly affect their organs. "Hormonal changes can lead to infertility, late puberty and early menopause," she said.

She explained that women suffering from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) are at risk of developing endometrial cancer, unless they change their lifestyle and take up healthy living.

"Risky sexual behaviors are also among risk factors increasing the chances of developing cancer among women, which seem to be irrelevant to reproductive system. For instance, cirrhosis of liver is a type of fatal cancer, which is caused by hepatitis virus. Hepatitis virus is transmitted through unsafe sex," she said.

She added hepatitis and HIV could be transmitted to fetus and infants through breast feeding and at time of delivery.

Noting that maternal and child health are among the indicators of development in every community, the specialist said healthy and safe child bearing is all women's rights which must be guaranteed by gynecologists.


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