September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month

Maureen Roberts; MD; Gynecologic Oncology; consent signed; portrait; NPI 1720422926;

Maureen Roberts; MD; Gynecologic Oncology; consent signed; portrait; NPI 1720422926;

September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month

A woman’s gynecologic health spans her entire lifetime. Lifestyle modification and preventative care can play a significant role in the prevention or early detection of certain diseases, including cancer. 

Gynecologic cancers involve a women’s reproductive organs. There are five main types: uterine, ovarian, cervical, vulvar, and vaginal.  


According to Maureen Roberts, MD, gynecologic oncologist at UPMC in Central Pa. knowing risk factors, recognizing symptoms, and regular exams can help women detect cancers in early stages.  

 “There are key factors in avoiding certain cancers, including those of the reproductive system. Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tobacco, and seeing your doctor for routine exams are all important. Women should know their family health history and be able to identify changes in their body.” 

Lifestyle, infections, and genetics have all been identified as contributors to certain gynecologic cancers. Uterine cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer, and the risk is considerably higher in overweight and obese women. In cervical cancer, the major contributing factor is chronic infection with certain types of HPV. 

If facing a cancer diagnosis, Dr. Roberts says women have the support of a compassionate, skilled, multidisciplinary team of experts who will develop a care plan specific to her type and stage of cancer.  

“We personalize the treatment plan for each woman, taking into consideration her unique set of symptoms and needs. Management can include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or a combination thereof so we often work across medical specialties to ensure that all facets of a woman’s cancer care are addressed. At UPMC, women in central Pa. can receive high-quality, comprehensive cancer care close to home.” 

Although symptoms vary, women should contact their gynecologist if experiencing: 

  • Pelvic or abdominal pain 
  • Bleeding after sex or post-menopause 
  • Detection of a lump or mass 
  • Itching, discharge, or skin changes of the genitalia 

“Today’s technological advances are improving patient outcomes, including survival, while also enabling the women fighting gynecologic cancers to live confidently and comfortably,” says Dr. Roberts.  

She encourages women of all ages to speak with their gynecologist about their individual risk factors and ensure they are up to date on all age-appropriate screenings and vaccines. Dr. Roberts is accepting patients. To schedule an appointment, please call 717-221-5940. 



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