Women’s Cancer – Supporting Pink Ribbon

Women’s Cancers


Pink ribbon supports women with cancer. These days most families have someone suffering from cancer in their immediate family or their close friends. Lets talk about it!

Do you know the difference between ovarian and cervical cancer?

Some people are confused and think that they are the same or similar. They are both gynecological cancers but have several differences that are important to know.


Ovarian Cancer:

The cancer that is referred to as the silent cancer because of the late presentation and lack of symptoms. 1 in 70 women will develop ovarian cancer and there are no early detection tests. Unfortunately 2 out of 3 women diagnosed will die from ovarian cancer. A Pap Smear Test WILL NOT detect ovarian cancer. The 5 year survival rate of ovarian cancer is 45%.

Ovarian Cancer is a complex disease. The most common types of ovarian cancer relate to the cells on the outside of the ovary.

Treatment is dependent on the extent of the cancer. For more information on symptoms, causes and diagnosis click here.

Cervical Cancer:

Cervical cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix. Cervical cancer is most often diagnosed between the ages of 35 and 44. When detected at an early stage, the 5-year survival rate for women with invasive cervical cancer is 92%.

Screening for cervical cancer. The Pap smear test was used in the past to detect cervical cancer but has changed to the new Cervical Screening Test (CST). The recent change checks for HPV (which causes almost all cervical cancers), not just abnormal cells (like the Pap smear test did.) This test has enabled the CST to be performed every 5 years rather than 2 years for most women aged 25-70. There is a misconception in the community that CST can detect all gynecological cancers but the fact is it will only detect cervical cancer.

Why should you do the test? Click here for some very important information.

Treatment is dependent on the stage of the disease. For more information on symptoms, causes and diagnosis click here.


Women’s cancer has been shown to increase with age. The most common among the women’s cancers are breast and ovarian. Breast and ovarian cancers share the same gene and they can run in families. In Australia we have a very active breast and cervical cancer screening. After the age of 75 years old, you will not be reminded to have breast screen tests, however, you will  not be refused one if you book in for a screening.

The survival rate from cancers have improved dramatically in the last few years because of early detection and advances in cancer treatment. Immune modulators, which is a form of treatment, are also being used more successfully. It is important for woman to be aware, educated and proactive when it comes to cancer and early detection. The pink ribbon cancer council have a fantastic site of information. It is worth a read and also while you are there, make a donation that can go towards prevention programs, support services and vital cancer research! Click here!

Dr Rae Pallath.

Dr Pallath is one of our GPs at Castle Hill Medical Centre and has been a doctor since 1985. Dr Pallath has a special interest in women’s health and is available for appointments by clicking this link.

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