Determine Your Risk

Determine Your Risk

Answering the questions below will help you understand your risk for gynecologic cancer, and what you can do to reduce the odds.

1. Have you had an annual Pap test and pelvic exam within the last two years?
    Yes (0)     No (1)

Regular Pap tests and an annual pelvic exam is the best way to detect gynecologic cancers early, when some types can be cured. Even women who have gone through menopause should continue to have regular pelvic exams.

2. Are you over age 50?
    Yes (1)     No (0)

Your risk for gynecologic cancer increases with age.

3. Have you had multiple sexual partners over your lifetime?

    Yes (1)     No (0)

Women who begin having sex at a young age or have had multiple partners have an increased risk of being infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is spread through sexual activity and can cause precancerous changes that increase a woman's risk of cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers.

4. Do you smoke?
    Yes (1)     No (0)

Smoking increases your risk of cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers.

5. Do you have diabetes and high blood pressure and also are overweight?
    Yes (1)     No (0)

Women with all three conditions have a significantly increased risk for uterine cancer.

6. Have you or any of your sexual partners been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (including herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, trichomoniasis, genital warts, hepatitis B or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS))?
    Yes (1)      No (0)

If you have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease, you have an increased risk of being infected with HPV, which increases your risk of cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers.

7. Have you ever been diagnosed with breast, uterine, colorectal or cervical cancer?
    Yes (5)     No (0)

Your risk for ovarian cancer is higher if you have had breast, uterine or colorectal cancer. Your risk for vaginal or vulvar cancer is higher if you have had cervical cancer or precancerous changes. Your risk for uterine cancer is higher if you have had colorectal cancer.

8. Do you have a parent, sibling or child who has been diagnosed with uterine, colorectal, ovarian, breast or cervical cancer?
    Yes (5)     No (0)

Your risk for uterine cancer is higher if close family members have been diagnosed with uterine, colorectal or ovarian cancer. Your risk for ovarian cancer is higher if there is a history of ovarian, breast, uterine, colon or rectal cancer. Your risk for cervical cancer also is higher if your mother or sister has been diagnosed with cervical cancer.

9. Have you had any of the following:
a. vaginal bleeding after going through menopause?
    Yes (5)     No (0)
b. vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse?
    Yes (3)     No (0)
c. vaginal bleeding between regular periods?
    Yes (2)     No (0)

Any type of unusual bleeding can be a sign of vaginal, vulvar, ovarian, uterine or cervical cancer.

Take control of your risk

Add up the numbers for each of your answers to find your total risk score and the steps you can take to protect yourself against gynecologic cancer.

If you scored 0-2 points:
• Get regular Pap tests.
• Do not smoke cigarettes or use other products made with nicotine.
• Protect yourself. Use a condom or diaphragm during sexual activity to reduce the risk of being infected with HPV. For girls and women ages 11–26, the HPV vaccine also can protect against most cancer-causing strains of the infection.
• Maintain a healthy weight, blood pressure and glucose level.

If you scored 3-8 points:

• Take the precautions listed above.
• Talk to your doctor about any factors that may increase your risk.
• Ask your doctor about possible screening tests that could help detect cancer early.

Call your doctor if you:
• Scored 9 points or more
• Answered "yes" to any part of question #9
• Have experienced any symptoms of gynecologic cancer for two weeks or longer


Mercy Health — Gynecologic Oncology

2409 Cherry St., Suite 307
Toledo, OH 43608
419-251-4873