gyno cancers September is Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month and a good time for a pop quiz – can you name all of the types of cancer that can affect a woman's reproductive organs? Many of us know a few of them, but there are others with their own symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are five main types of gynecological cancer:

Ovarian Cancer:  This cancer that starts in the organ that makes female hormones and produces eggs causes more deaths than any other gynecological cancer. Unfortunately, early diagnosis is very difficult and uncommon, as there is no effective screening test. Pelvic ultrasounds, Ca-125 testing, and genetic testing can be utilized in high risk women. Advanced ovarian cancer can have symptoms such as:

 Vaginal bleeding or discharge that's not normal for you.
 Back pain or pain in the area below your stomach and between your hip bones.
 A bloated feeling in the area below your stomach.
 Feeling full quickly while eating.
A change in your bathroom habits, such as increased urination, constipation, or diarrhea.

Cervical Cancer: This is a cancer of the lower, narrow end of the uterus that connects to the vagina. Cervical cancer is highly preventable because of screening tests and a vaccine to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV) infections that are linked to cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer may not have any symptoms in its early stages, and that's why a pap test at the appropriate intervals for a particular woman is important. Advanced cervical cancer may cause unusual bleeding or discharge from the vagina, such as bleeding after sex.

Uterine Cancer: This cancer begins in the uterus, the pear-shaped organ where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant. A common form of uterine cancer is known as endometrial cancer because it forms in the lining of the uterus called the endometrium.

Uterine cancer may cause vaginal discharge or bleeding that's not normal for you, especially if you are already menopausal. It may also cause other symptoms, such as pain or pressure in your pelvis.

Vaginal and Vulvar Cancer: These cancers occur in the outermost parts of the reproductive system. Vulvar cancer starts in the vulva, the outer part of the female genital organs with two folds of skin called the labia. Vulvar cancer most often occurs on the inner edges of the labia.

Vulvar cancer can cause itching, burning, or bleeding on the vulva; changes in the color of the skin of the vulva making it look redder or whiter than normal, or skin changes in the vulva, including what looks like a rash or warts.

Early-stage vaginal cancer may not have any symptoms, which is one of the reasons that annual pelvic exams are still recommended, even if you are not having a “Pap smear” that year.

98,000 American women will be diagnosed with a gynecological cancer this year, and almost 30,000 will die. Don't be part of that grim statistic. Monitor yourself for these symptoms, and schedule an annual visit with your provider who can conduct screening and testing.


back to school tipsIt won't be long before the lazy mornings of summer turn into hectic wake-ups as kids go back to school. You still have some time before vacation ends, but it's not too early to begin working toward a successful start to the school year.

Sleep schedules can be a top complaint for kids and parents. Who wants to get up two hours earlier just for school? To ease the transition, try rolling back your child's bedtime by 20 minutes every two or three days in the last weeks before school starts.

Now's the time to ditch that summertime diet and get back to healthy eating. Popsicles as a main course might be fun in the dog days of August, but kids need good nutrition for the school day with a balanced breakfast and a healthy lunch that will keep them fueled-up for learning.

If your child complains that they just don't want to go to school, ask what bothers them and don't take “everything” for an answer.  Social worries are common, so help your child identify someone to share the lunch table or spend time with on the playground.  A late summer playdate can help them reconnect with friends from school.

Maybe your child is worried about the classroom work, but remind them that it takes everyone a few weeks to get back up to speed. Acknowledge that some things will be hard and tell them you're willing to help in any way you can, whether that's taking time to review homework or using the services of a tutor.

One way to bring summer to a fun close is to plan a family weekend before school starts.  That's easier in Michigan because state law requires school summer vacation to continue through Labor Day. Let the kids help you pick a fun family activity for the holiday weekend and make it your formal farewell to the summer season.


healthy pregnancyIf plans to grow your family are in your future, you don't have to wait until a positive pregnancy test to get healthy for that baby. Prenatal care begins when pregnancy starts, but there are things you can do now to help prepare for the healthiest pregnancy possible.

1. Eat Healthy Foods
It's easier to eat healthy foods when you plan your meals and snacks ahead of time and have the food on hand. This way, you'll be less likely to make unhealthy eating choices that can lead to being overweight.

2. Be Active
Set aside time for physical activity and aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day. You can break this up into several 10-minute sessions. Being active with a friend can also help you reach your activity goal.

3. Take Folic Acid
Take a vitamin with folic acid every day unless you're eating a breakfast cereal that has 400 micrograms of folic acid in every serving. Make it easy and place the vitamins by your toothbrush so you'll remember to take them each day.

4. Get Your Vaccinations
Vaccinations are your best defense against many diseases that can harm your health and cause serious problems during pregnancy. Make sure all of your shots are up-to-date and remember to get a flu shot every year to protect you and your baby.

5. Reduce Alcohol Intake
Drinking during pregnancy can cause serious health problems for you and your baby. It's easier to stop drinking during pregnancy if you start cutting back now to less than seven alcoholic drinks per week and not more than one per day.

6. Stop Smoking
Smoking is not healthy for you and can make it difficult to become pregnant and have a healthy baby. Don't smoke and avoid being around people who do smoke so there's no second hand exposure.

7. Talk With Us
We can help you prepare for a healthy pregnancy when you're ready for it. Make an appointment at our Brownstown or Southgate, Michigan office to talk with us about family planning that's right for you from Northline Women's Health Center.


smiling kidsIt's the mid-point of summer vacation and moms all across southeast Michigan are looking for ways to help their children enjoy the rest of the season. Here are a handful of suggestions for summer fun with the kids that are easy on the wallet.

Listen To The Music
Enjoy “Jazz On The Avenue” in Dearborn on Wednesday evenings that includes kid’s activities like face painting and balloon twisters.

Catch a Wave (Pool)
The Lake Erie Metropark Wave Pool in Brownstown has man-made three-foot breakers that you can splash in and a three-story tall inflatable water slide that's 175 feet of wet fun.

Get “Wild” At The Zoo
The Detroit Zoo is open on Wednesdays from 5 to 8 p.m. through August for “Wild Summer Nights” featuring kid-friendly music and a chance to see animals when they're more active in the early evening.

Go “Hands On” Every Thursday
The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum offers an interactive, engaging environment for kids of all ages to learn about the world around them and discover the wonder of science, technology, engineering, art, and math.  On Thursday evenings from 5 to 8 p.m. admission is just $5 per person (babies under 2 are free).

Head To The Library For Summer Savings
The Michigan Activity Pass is a partnership between Michigan libraries and hundreds of state parks, campgrounds, museums, trails, and arts and cultural destinations that offer free or discounted admissions when you use the pass that you can checkout for free from your local library. The Dearborn Public Library  and Veteran's Memorial Library in Southgate are among those that participate in this program.


pregnancy symptoms smAnswering the question, “Am I pregnant?” may be as easy as stopping at the drugstore to pick up a home pregnancy test. But store-bought tests aren't always accurate in the earliest stages of pregnancy, and sometimes you just have a feeling that makes you wonder if this is the time. Most of the following symptoms could have nothing to do with pregnancy, but you might be pregnant if…

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax