Gynaecological cancer: don’t die from embarrassment
It’s the fourth most common cancer in women in the UK, but you probably know nothing about it.
Over 9,000 women are diagnosed with womb cancer every year in the UK. While deaths from lung cancer have halved since 1970, and deaths from breast cancer have decreased by 40%, if you’re diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer today, your prognosis is about the same as it would have been 30 years ago.
The Eve Appeal wants to change this. As the only national gynaecological cancer research charity in the UK, it funds world-class research and promotes awareness of women’s cancers. Yesterday, they launched Ask Eve, a new gynaecological cancer information service to help women get the earliest diagnosis possible.
The phone line is run by specialist nurses, who offer information and support on all five types of gynaecological cancers (of which womb cancer is the most common), providing a place for women to discuss and raise awareness of the symptoms to look out for.
Athena Lamnisos, Chief Executive of The Eve Appeal said: “Often women tell us that the first time they’ve even heard of some of the gynaecological cancers is when they’re told they’ve got one. That’s not ok and it shows that there’s a long way to go on raising awareness of these cancers. There are so many reasons why women don’t want to open up about gynae issues. There shouldn’t be anything embarrassing about talking about irregular bleeding or any other gynae signs and symptoms. That’s why our mission to get women to talk openly and use proper language and terms. Vagina is not a dirty word and periods happen to 51% of the population! Busting the taboos and reducing the stigma surround gynae issues will be a life-saver – women are literally dying of embarrassment by either not recognising or delaying seeking help.”
How to recognise the signs of gynaecological cancer
The symptoms for womb cancer and other gynae cancers include, but are not limited to:
- Vaginal bleeding after the menopause
- Bleeding between periods
- Being overweight
- Abnormal discharge
- Persistent bloating
- Persistent pelvic and abdominal pain
You can read more about the symptoms of gynae cancers here. If you’d like to speak with a qualified specialist gynaecological nurse, you can get in touch with the Ask Eve gynaecological cancer information service in a number of ways:
Telephone: 0808 802 0019. It’s free to call from landlines and mobiles.
Together we can make a difference to the detection – and survival – rates of women’s cancers. All we need to do is talk about it.