Women Unaware of Reproductive Cancer Risks

September 14, 2005

Contact: Angela Heisel (505) 272-3651; Jenny Savage (505) 272-3690


Disturbing new statistics show that a large number of women are not taking advantage of early detection and treatment programs associated with reproductive diseases cancers because they are unaware of the related symptoms.

The poll, commissioned by the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation (GCF) and Research! America , involved telephone interviews with 800 women regarding their understanding of and concerns about female reproductive cancers, or gynecologic cancers. According to the poll, 54 percent of women believe that they are at personal risk for developing a gynecological cancer, yet 58 percent are unaware of any factors that can lower their risk and 47 percent could not name any symptoms of gynecologic cancers. Fifty-one percent of women said that, aside from their doctor, the Internet is where they would turn for information about reproductive cancers.

The results suggest that women are not being properly educated and warned about the precautions they can take to avoid reproductive cancers. Ninety-eight percent of women polled believed that the United States should invest in research to prevent, treat and potentially cure gynecologic cancers. "This poll shows the importance of expanding gynecological education and research on a national level," said Dr. Carolyn Muller, M.D. UNM Director of UNM G g ynecologic al O o ncology ist and gynecologic oncologist at the UNM Cancer Research & Treatment Center , who helped conduct the poll. "This poll shows that women are confused by the circulation of myths and misinformation."

The GCF urges women to inform themselves by becoming aware of family histories, conducting an online risk assessment ( ), visiting a gynecologist annually for screening s and guidance on personal risk assessment. Complete poll findings are available at and .

The University of New Mexico Cancer Research & Treatment Center is New Mexico's premier Cancer Center supported by the State and the National Cancer Institute to conduct innovative research and deliver state-of-the-art patient care. The UNM CRTC works to reduce the incidence of cancer in New Mexico , decrease cancer mortality and contribute to the world's understanding of cancer.

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