Risk Factors and Exams for Early Detection 

An annual gynecologic examination and pap smear are useful to help detect gynecologic cancers. Women should report any new, concerning or unusual symptoms to their physicians. 

Several factors are known to increase the risk of developing gynecologic cancer, including:

  • Uterine cancer: Risk factors include obesity, white race, a family history of Lynch syndrome (hereditary colon cancer) and exposure to estrogen therapy.

  • Cervical cancer: Exposure to human papillomavirus (HPV) through sexual activity is the most important risk factor, but smoking is also an important factor.

  • Ovarian cancer: Endometriosis and obesity are known risk factors for ovarian cancer. A family history of breast or ovarian cancer can suggest the presence of a hereditary predisposition to ovarian cancer. Inherited mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes increase the risk of ovarian and breast cancers. Genetic counselors are available to help evaluate hereditary risk.


Contact a Piedmont Specialist

For an appointment with a Piedmont primary care doctor or gynecologist near you, call 678-309-5690 (primary care only) or use our convenient Find a Doctor search. 

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