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The University of Illinois Medical Center campus in Chicago presents. Your doctor speaks an exploration of today's health problems during the series doctors in the colleges of medicine dentistry pharmacy nursing and graduate college at the University of Illinois Medical Center campus. We'll discuss the latest advances in cancer and heart research painless dentistry psychiatry nursing care and modern drugs. All of these and more will be presented on your doctor's speaks. Your host for this series is Jack Reed Timmer coordinator of public service radio and TV programming. For the University of Illinois Medical Center campus and Champaign Urbana. This is Jack remembering another program that we do with faculty members from the universal and Medical Center campus in Chicago. Our guest today is Dr. William mentored professor and head of the departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology universe on II College of Medicine an obstetrician and gynecologist in chief at
the universe I want to research an educational hospital's topic woman's special interest in cancer prevention. What specialists interest does the woman or do women today have in this particular area of cancer. What is it and what can they do about it. Well sir I just do quote a statistic or two. If a newborn male a new boy baby born today has approximately one hundred ninety chances in the thousand of. So coming from cancer but in a born female I was a hundred and thirty six chances by the thousand thirty six two hundred eight. Yes. Furthermore our breast and female genital tract cancer are second only to gastrointestinal cancer and liver cancer.
Now remember they gastrointestinal and liver cancer occur in both sexes and breast and female reproductive operators. Cancer in the 1 6 0 0 0. So they I think they really do have particular interest in this disease. So what you're saying is that the woman's reproductive organs she really has well susceptible to this particular disease. Well yes they are. Why is this so and what kinds of cancer in women occur in the reproductive organs. Well reproductive organs breast and uterus and over a by their very nature are constantly undergoing changes in their cells. And wherever there is intense cellular activity there's always a chance for the growth of cancer. See cancer is like a criminal in the cellular. City of the body
and the criminal throws off normal restraints of society and a cancer cell throws off normal growth restraints of the normal cell because cells in our body are constantly being started and living and then being sloughed off and wherever there's intensity in our activity as there is in the aptly active reproductive life of woman in utero and breast and ovary. There's bound to be cancer. This kind of a kind of paying a bleak picture here about the poor woman the fact that she's so susceptible to cancer and the problems of cancer because of her sex. What can she do about this. How can she be talked to recognize the early symptoms of cancer whether it be breast cancer uterine cancer whatever it might be. Well I think this is why one of the reasons I like this topic.
One of the reasons why I think woman has a special interest in cancer and one of the reasons why I'm firmly of the opinion that she should know what there is to know. She should know the very early symptoms because it's only if she dies and that there is hope or if she delays. Until For example she gets pain but in time she has pain there in much hope for. But it's the only symptom she has to know for instance. Well now let's take the commonest cancer that I deal with which is cancer of the mouth of the womb. A woman who gets this started now in our mind to remember these are just a very very few cells there that are cancers and they've just barely made a slow 90s breakthrough a sore on the cervix. The woman was spot perhaps after do she
perhaps after sexual intercourse. We call it contact spotting. Not every woman who does this has cancer but every woman who has cancer of the cervix certainly started this way. She must recognize this early symptom. On and of course we can't do anything about the woman unless she comes to us. Yes it's utterly impossible to treat this disease by remote control as to the woman to bring herself to the doctor. Well really now there is no other early symptom of cancer of the cervix. And if the woman comes to us then we have a very good chance of doing something. I want to inject something here. This is not entirely statistically correct but it is very good and I think dramatize is what I'm trying to say. If a woman
who has cancer who spots after contact and goes immediately to the proper physician and gets the proper care she has very close to 100 percent chance of being alive and well 5 years from now. So then again if a woman. Who has cancer and who has this early symptom of spotting goes to the proper physician and the proper things are immediately instituted. This woman has very close to 100 percent chance of being alive and well 5 years from now. But but there's always a every day she delays she loses about 1 percent. Now that's the part that isn't quite true but it's so close to being true that if the woman just remembers that for every day's delay the chances drop 1 percent so that by end of about three and a third months she has virtually no
chance of cure. But making a cure is five years. Five years is a miracle. Yes years. But the hope is there. The hope is there. A woman has got to recognize this and it isn't frank bleeding obviously a few bad cells on the mouth of the womb are going to cause a vicious hemorrhage. You know they are going to produce a little spotting and maybe they'll produce a very slight hardly a drop of blood on her panties. She must heed this if she does this she has a chance. Well wouldn't this. Coming to the area if she was seeing a physician regularly every six months within this or half an hour we're going to talk probably something about this I hope you'll ask me about these things a little later on. But my only point was in this fact that we're given information which is very good but many women may say well I'm not
aware of what you just told me I know now because you told me but how do I know what to look for now we all hear about the seven danger signal Gentles of cancer. Well I want to let you have anything from a body. I went What does that mean. Yes well we tell them what I mean. Spotting you know there was a lot of blood a little spot of blood. This is a sign and if a woman hears it wonderful and if she doesn't every day she delays she's in more and more trouble. Let's talk about then about a test which is becoming very popular and I assume from what you and I have discussed earlier that this is really helped fantastically and this is the Pap smear Could you tell us about the pap smear. Yeah now I think before we start talking about the paps Mara I'd have to lay a little foundation here.
Now cancer of the mouth of the womb cancer of the cervix for example doesn't just begin out of nowhere. Certain things happen. And probably the cellular change not probably We know that cellular change takes place in some of the cells of a woman who is ultimately going to develop cancer cellular to change takes place at least 10 years before she gets any spotting. Now the beauty of the pap smear and we call it pap because this man was happening a lot and that's too long a name to say so it's become pap all over the United States use it or this Smee they're unable us to recognize some of the cells that are sloughed off. Now pig skin to the hand for instance at the bottom of the skin. The cells grow then as
they grow and push themselves toward the surface they flatten out a little bit and as they flatten out ultimately they're sucked off. Anybody who's been sick in bed for a long time knows that he gets gales on his heels. And this is exactly the thing the Saudis are exfoliate. Well by a very simple thing. Simply use a cotton swab or simply use a piece of wood a blue little like a tongue blade and don't scrape to get blood we're not after blood that this year is the task. But just scrape off a few of these surface cells and from the surface cells it is possible to recognize that some of the cells are bad. And this is a danger sign I want to caution any woman who hears this. Yes that under no circumstances is a she ever to be treated for cancer because of a pap smear. When you I say it again. A pap smear is not
sufficient for an accurate diagnosis of cancer. PAP is the thing that gives the signal that leads us to this cancer is the first step. It's the first step. And a pap smear every year. In fact you ask about the Pap smear I'll make a very didactic statement. If every woman over 25 in the United States got a pap smear every year we would eliminate cancer this early death from cancer of the cervix. That's a fantastic that's a fantastic statement sir but that is a true statement. And I think that wherever this has been applied it has been shown to be true. You know wiser to utilize what we have why we've got everything there is we don't have breakthroughs in order to. We can't always cure cancer of the mouth of the womb we usually can but the cure is pretty rough but we can
prevent it if we get this pap smear. Now having got a positive pap smear and then the woman must have. What we call a little colon removed just around the mouth of the womb. Because that's where cancer of the mouth of the womb begins is around us a little comb. Or the right surrounding the central orifice of the opening. And then we make a tissue biopsy actually make microscopic preparations and study this tissue under the microscope. Then we can speedily tell whether there is just some cellular change in there which is not good or whether this is already going on. To be invasive cancer in an extraordinarily early stage. But in either event the chances of curing at that stage are actually are approximately 100 percent. You can ask about of the man was a pretty good percentage a matter of fact we done the records on a
better than 100 patients on whom we have taken appropriate precautions in this preliminary stage. And not one patient has developed cancer. Very very encouraging to me and it is very very encouraging. Now this pastor can be downright in the physician's office I want to assure is not true or it is not a matter of fact they've been teaching some women and giving him kids to do it you know themselves. Oh yeah they do that position's I got to be a pretty sophisticated woman and of course this sort of thing no burgeon could do it and have to take a married woman or a woman who's had a child before she could be able to do this test herself but I don't think this is if physicians test I don't believe it's the patients day. Yeah and why not if you're going to go see a physician every six months or a year at the most. This should be part of the annual checkup for the woman. Yes. So there's no particular problem there I mean this should be done right there. Now let's talk about the uterus the room.
Why does the uterus of the woman have to have more than one cancer type which could develop in it. You know possible Yeah that is a very strange thing that an organ like this should have at least two cancer types can have too. Yeah now actually they're they're sort of geographically separated one is in the top part of the womb and the other is at the mouth of the womb and the different cancers their different cell types and they behave slightly differently they both behave like cancer. Don't ever body anybody ever forget it my theory about cancer is very very simple. When a patient develops a real cancer invasive cancer the doctor kills the cancer or the cancer kills the patient and might take some years for this to happen. But this is what happens and make no mistake about it. And you just can't sweep this kind of thing under the rug you know if it starts and yes and the two are generally treated differently for
example one of the mouth of the womb is usually treated with x ray radiation and they wanted the top part of the womb is treated by a surgical excision. They're going to the technical reasons for that but they're sound very sound technical reasons based upon much much experience of many many men. Divide the room definitely is responsible for three fourths of all female genital cancer. The ovary for the next biggest percent. And things like vagina evolve uterine slope into only for a few very small percentage of the whole total. So that's why the womb is an important organ. You know cervix cancer is about 60 percent of all female genital cancer. The top part of about 15 percent. Nice figures will vary depending on the type of population and the
socioeconomic level and what have you. But this all can be can be diagnosed and checked ahead of time. The interesting thing is that both of these types of cancer. They are an issue symptom is a spot of blood is bleeding to that extent they're external. Now the. Cancer developing in the top part of the womb. We can only reach by dilating the mouth and scraping out the inside the butt the cervical cancer is really a surface cancer because we can see it. We can feel it. And this is the one of course that we know most about. I mean we as physicians because it's the commonest and much much work and effort and thought over many many errors and by many many men all over the world have gone into this. I documented you mention about cancer in the ovaries.
What do you say the percentage of cancer in ovaries is not as large as in the other. Well it's been on more and about depending again on who you do statistics you read yes. But it is somewhere between 10 12 15 percent of all the cancers. Now what can a woman do to protect herself in this particular area. Now we've mentioned the others. But is there something that she can do going as again early diagnosis is something she can recognize the mystery guy or you lead into this a little earlier as the when you talked about manual physical checkup and. Woman grow lose a great many different types of ovarian tumors. And about one out of four out of them either is or will become cancers. So when she gets an ovarian tumor and she can feel it through her abdominal wall and her doctor can feel it on examination
it's time to have it out. And if she go use yearly again I think you mentioned six months but again I push the six month year whatever. If she goes to her physician and he doesn't tell the examination the ovarian tumor that is there can be found. And then it better come out. Now I don't have come out tonight or tomorrow morning but it ought to come out next week. Yes. And it shouldn't wait till next month. Innocent again isn't that what she sees her position of course is. This will be one of the steps in the right direction for her. Yeah. Let's talk about breast cancer. We hear a lot about this. What is the cure rate in breast cancer is very good. Early Well it again it depends on on how soon the woman comes. There are
several things that are noticeable early in breast cancer. One is if a woman stands up before a mirror and notices whether the nipples are on the same level or not. Look and see if the same shadow was appear on one breast as on the other. The difference in shadow might indicate depression of the surface of the breast a little asymmetry. I mean her job is to compare one breast with the other you see. Then if she lifts her hands above her head way high above her head her breasts lift up. If they don't lift the same height look out. Then I think every woman ought to be taught to feel her own breast self-examinations least once a month. Preferably not at the menstrual period when the breasts get a bit knotted nodular and shoddy but at other times when it's perhaps not so
tender. And if she'll lie down and let us say for the left breast she turned slightly to the right side so that she can balance the left breast evenly on the body wall on the chest wall. Then with the right hand she very slowly and gently puts a hand flat on the breast and fuse between Nebraska her hand to use a breast between her hand and her ribs and if she feels a lump then again the other doctor. But again by the time she's got pain too late. Well it's not necessarily too late there's still some hope but hope isn't as good as if she goes very very early and now the patient wants to know wants know what I do feel a lump. What does a doctor do. Well generally he can distinguish a little better than the patient where they are what kind of a lump it is whether it's a lump that is filled with fluid which may or may not mean something
or whether it's a solid lump and if it's a solid lump why then of course there's only one thing to do and that is to make a small incision take it out and get a section of it. This is the only way to diagnose cancer is to take the take a biopsy the biopsy. Yeah. Documented we've been talking mostly about the patient. Have you a message for the physician or should I put you in that spot where our message of the visit. I have developed a few aphorisms that I believe I'd like to give the physician Yes. Oh always suspect cancer whenever you see it it doesn't mean you got to frighten all of poor women who come to you because not many who come here do but are always suspected keep it upper most in your mind. Examined women held weekly when they come to you and don't put it off and say Bring a friend back weighed in next
week because she may not come back. Examiner Did he and then finally accept no easy answer especially when a woman has bleeding after her change of life. And when in doubt about anything send it to the nearest Cancer Center. Excellent on that point we're going to have in this particular program has been very interesting. Our guest has been Dr. William mentored professor and head of the partner of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of online and our topic has been a women's a special interest in cancer prevention. You have just heard another in the series your doctor speaks produced by the University of Illinois Medical Center campus in Chicago in cooperation with this station. During this series such topics as cancer and heart research painless dentistry psychiatry nursing care and modern drugs will be presented on your doctor
speaks. Your host for this series is Jack Graham or coordinator of public service radio and TV programming for the universe their own II Medical Center campus and Champaign Urbana. Your doctor speaks is produced and directed by Mr. Reagan. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
Your doctor speaks II
Women's Special Interest in Cancer
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U. of Illinois Medical
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For series info, see Item 3434. This prog.: Women's Special Interest in Cancer Prevention. Dr. W. Mengert.
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Chicago: “Your doctor speaks II; Women's Special Interest in Cancer,” 1968-07-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 25, 2024,
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