This past September was Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month (GCAM). The GCI’s mission is to accelerate transformative research on the prevention, detection, treatment, and survivorship of gynecologic cancers.
Each year, over a million people around the globe, will be diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer (ovarian, cervical, uterine, vaginal, or vulvar) and many of them will also die from the disease. In 15 years, we will see a 33% increase in deaths from these cancers if there are no dramatic improvements in treatment and care.
As part of our commitment to advancing gynecologic cancer research, we highlighted the various research milestones in the gynecologic cancer space and shared educational resources with our community.
Over the month of September, we shared some of the major research accomplishments for each type of gynecologic cancer. Some of the milestones we included were HPV screening for cervical cancer detection, proactive molecular risk classifier for endometrial cancer (ProMisE), changes in hereditary testing referrals (especially in the case of ovarian cancer), and personalized treatment for vulvar cancer.
In addition, one of the key research wins in gynecological cancer has been the developing research on Opportunistic Salpingectomy (OS). With the new knowledge that the most common type of ovarian cancer (high-grade serous carcinomas) begins in the fallopian tube, not the ovary, BC researchers launched the world’s first population-based ovarian cancer prevention strategy with OS. It is now recommended that the fallopian tubes be removed at the time of every hysterectomy or in lieu of tubal ligation. This change in surgical practise has now been adopted worldwide, exponentially increasing the impact of this “made in BC” protocol.
Fact Fridays Collaboration with the WHRI
The Women’s Health Research Institute is devoted to improving the health of girls and women through knowledge generation and supporting an expanding provincial and national network of women’s health stakeholders. We collaborated with the WHRI for a series of Gynecologic Cancer MythBusters, with the goal to counter misinformation on gynecologic cancers symptoms, prevention, and treatment.
Press Play on Patient Perspectives
We also celebrated the launch of season 2 of the GOSH Podcast by hosting a virtual launch event called Press Play on Patient Perspectives. Stay tuned to learn more about the event and some of the insights from our patient partners.
As a simple way for the GCI community to participate in GCAM, the #ColoursforChange campaign encouraged people to wear colours associated with gynecological cancer. Thank you to all of our community members who got involved to spread awareness!