Menopause occurs when a woman has not had her period for 12 months or longer.This process naturally happens as a woman ages, as the ovaries stop producing or produce reduced amounts of female hormone. This usually occurs when she is in her 40s or 50s.
However, some woman may go through menopause at a younger age. This is certainly the case for women who have had their ovaries removed.
The ovaries are small organs situated on either side of the uterus. They produce hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, that control a woman's menstrual cycle.
Without ovaries to release hormones, a woman will go through menopause at an earlier time. This can have both short- and long-term effects on women that they should prepare for and be aware of.
Surgical menopause, which is also known as a bilateral oophorectomy, is a procedure in which a woman's ovaries are removed.
In most cases, the procedure is minimally invasive, meaning a surgeon will make small cuts in the lower abdomen to access and remove the ovaries.
Sometimes, a doctor will perform an oophorectomy along with other gynecological surgeries, including:
hysterectomy, which is the removal of the uterus
salpingectomy, which is the removal of the fallopian tubes that are near the ovaries
salpingo-oophorectomy, which is the removal of both the ovaries and the fallopian tubes
Preventive surgery and surgical menopause
There are several reasons why a doctor may perform an oophorectomy, which induces menopause. These include:
non-cancerous ovarian tumors or cysts
ovary torsion, where an ovary becomes twisted and blood flow is affected
Some women have an oophorectomy to reduce their risk of developing ovarian or breast cancers. Doctors call this a prophylactic oophorectomy.
Women who have ovarian or breast cancers in their family history are at greater risk for developing these types of cancers. Some women undergo genetic testing to identify whether they have mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. These genes produce proteins that suppress cancerous tumor growth.
However, if a woman has inherited genetic mutations to these genes, she is more likely to develop cancer types, such as ovarian and breast cancers.
According to the National Cancer Institute, mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes account for 15 percent of all ovarian cancers. These gene mutations also account for 20 to 25 percent of hereditary breast cancers. Women who have these genes are more likely to get cancer, and at an earlier age.
Continue reading... What are the effects of surgical menopause?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is one of the most widespread diseases worldwide. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates that, in the United States alone, there were approximately 1,685,210 new cases of cancer in 2016.
What are some practical ways that could help you to cope with the shock of a cancer diagnosis, and allow you to make the best decisions for yourself?
Medical News Today has spoken with healthcare professionals and explored the experiences of people living with cancer with the aim of bringing you advice on how to face this unwelcome news.
'Make sure you understand your diagnosis'
Getting diagnosed with cancer comes as a shock to anyone, but one important way of coping with it is to be well informed. Cancer is often surrounded by an aura of myth, and much of what we think we know about it can be based on hearsay.
So, an important first step is to get as much (specific) information as possible, from both your doctor and other reliable sources.
Dany Bell — a specialist advisor on treatment and recovery at Macmillan Cancer Support, based in the United Kingdom — told MNT, "Being diagnosed with cancer can be a big shock, even if you already suspected you might have it."
"Cancer is a word that can stir up many fears and emotions," adds Bell, "but making sure you fully understand your diagnosis can help you feel more in control of the situation."
Continue reading.. Coping with a Cancer Diagnosis.
New research has discovered that smoking and oral sex are tied to an increased risk of developing HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer, which is a form of head and neck cancer activated by exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV).Although the risk is increased, it is still low; only 0.7 percent of men are ever likely developing oropharyngeal cancer during their lifetimes, according to the new study.The risk of developing the condition was found to be considerably lower among women, non-smokers, and those who had had fewer than five partners with whom they had performed oral sex.Prof. Gypsyamber D'Souza, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Dr. Carole Fakhry, of the Johns Hopkins Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery — both of which are located in Baltimore, MD — conducted the research.
Their results have been published in the journal Annals of Oncology.Every year in the United States, there are approximately 16,500 cases of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, which is the most common type of oropharyngeal cancer. More than 11,500 of these are HPV-related.
More than 100 different types of HPV exist, but only a few of these are known to cause cancer. HPV16 or 18, for example, triggers most cases of cervical cancer, and HPV16 is known to cause most oropharyngeal cancers.
Experts have predicted that by 2020, the incidence of oropharyngeal cancer will overtake that of cervical cancer."For these reasons," says Prof. D'Souza, "it would be useful to be able to identify healthy people who are most at risk of developing oropharyngeal cancer in order to inform potential screening strategies, if effective screening tests could be developed."She adds, "Most people perform oral sex in their lives, and we found that oral infection with cancer-causing HPV was rare among women regardless of how many oral sex partners they had.""Among men who did not smoke," Prof. D'Souza says, "cancer-causing oral HPV was rare among everyone who had less than five oral sex partners, although the chances of having oral HPV infection did increase with number of oral sexual partners, and with smoking."The study data came from 13,089 individuals, all of whom were aged 20–69 years old, who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.The participants had all been tested for oral HPV infection. To predict the risk of oropharyngeal cancer from oral HPV infection, the researchers used data on oropharyngeal cancer cases and deaths from U.S. registries.
Smoking and oral sex partners elevate risk
Prof. D'Souza and Dr. Fakhry found the lowest prevalence of oral infection with cancer-causing forms of HPV in women who had had one or no oral sex partners during their lifetimes.
Of these, 1.8 percent were smokers and 0.5 percent were non-smokers. The risk of infection climbed slightly to 1.5 percent for women who had had two to more oral sex partners.
Among men, those who had had one or no oral sex partners were at the lowest risk, with a prevalence of 1.5 percent for oral HPV infection. Among men with two to four oral sex partners, prevalence increased to 4 percent among non-smokers and elevated further to 7.1 percent among men who smoked.
Non-smoking men who had had five or more oral sex partners had a prevalence of oral HPV infection of 7.4 percent. The highest prevalence of infection — reaching 15 percent — was observed among men with five or more oral sex partners and who smoked.
Continue reading.. Could oral sex raise your head and neck cancer risk? [...]
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The composition of bacteria in the vagina could be an important factor in the development of cervical cancer, according to a recent study.
Infection with some particular strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) is a well-known risk for cervical cancer.
However, researchers at the University of Arizona in Phoenix suggest that other factors may also be relevant because of their influence on the condition of the cervix.
A paper now published in the journal Scientific Reports describes how they found that women with cancer or precancer of the cervix had different vaginal bacteria to women who did not have cervical tissue abnormalities.
The finding suggests that there might be a direct link between "good" bacteria and a healthy cervix, and "bad" bacteria and raised risk for cervical cancer.
"In cancer and precancer patients," explains senior study author Melissa M. Herbst-Kralovetz, who is an associate professor in the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona, "lactobacilli — good bacteria — are replaced by a mixture of bad bacteria."
Cervical cancer and HPV
Cervical cancer starts when cells in the cervix, or the entrance to the uterus from the vagina, grow abnormally and become a tumor.
The presence of abnormal cells is known as precancer. If the abnormal cells become cancer cells and spread into neighboring tissue, it becomes cervical cancer.
Precancerous tissue should "be removed" to prevent cancer. This can normally be done without harming unaffected tissue.
Estimates for the United States suggest that, "at some point during their lifetime," approximately 0.6 percent of women will be told that they have cervical cancer.
New cases of cervical cancer in the U.S. dropped by at least 50 percent in 1975–2010 and statistics for 2008–2014 show that more than 66 percent of women survive for more than 5 years after diagnosis.
HPV spreads through "intimate skin-to-skin contact," such as during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. There are more than 150 types of HPV, of which only some can give rise to cancer in men and women.
Usually, the immune system can clear the virus without causing any harm. But if the virus persists, it can cause genital warts and cancer.
In both sexes, HPVs can cause cancer of the mouth, throat, anus, and rectum. In men, they can also cause cancer of the penis. In women, HPVs can cause cancers of the cervix, vagina, and vulva.
Continue reading.. Vaginal bacteria may have a role in cervical cancer.