Senior Consultant Gynaecologist Miss Leila Hanna answered your questions in the second session of our online ask the expert live chat event on the subject of cancer last week. Here are the questions and answers from the session in full:
AXAPPPhealthcare Miss Leila Hanna - would you like to tell us a little about yourself?
Leila Hanna Thank you. I am a Senior Consultant Gynaecologist working in South East London & Kent. I consult at the Blackheath, Chelsfield Park and Sloane BMI Hospitals.
Susan Can you tell me what are the long term side effects from using steroid cream for lichen sclerosis? Also, how can you tell if this condition is becoming cancerous?
Leila Hanna Lichen sclerosus - External Steroid Cream application is the commonest treatment. Use initially full dose then reduce and alternate with E45. Keep an eye on any skin changes and report those as there is a very small risk of cancer.
Surb1 Hi Miss Hanna, I read that it is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month this month, but I don't really know much about it so could you please tell me how I can prevent it and what the symptoms of ovarian cancer are?
Leila Hanna Ovarian Cancer symptoms - bloatedness, abdominal swelling. Uncommon in ladies less than 50 years. If concerned, request to attend a transvaginal ultrasound of the pelvis to check ovaries.
Surb1 Thanks Miss Hanna, is there any way to prevent ovarian cancer?
Leila Hanna Keep healthy and attend for screening particularly if you have a family history
Surb1 Thank you. Can you test for ovarian cancer by having a smear test done?
Leila Hanna No - Cervical Smear tests only the Cervix. As mentioned above, a SCAN of the Pelvis/ovaries ideally transvaginal.
Surb1 Great thank you
Kate22 Hi Miss Hanna, I wanted to ask you a question, do heavy periods have anything to do with cancer? Are they a sign and should I get them checked out?
Leila Hanna Depending on age: ladies over 40 should present for investigations. The majority are fine. A small group need further checks and assessment.
Kate22 Thank you, I was only wondering as mine are never the same and I know my mum experienced this with her periods when she was my age
Kate22 Why did the age of cervical smear tests increase when they haven't in other countries?
Leila Hanna This was an economical decision - being relooked at at present.
Kate22 Great thanks Miss Hanna for your help
AXAPPPhealthcare Thank you Miss Hanna for joining us - I hope you enjoyed you time with us
Leila Hanna Many thanks