September 2020 is Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month and we are supporting The Eve Appeal’s national #GoRed campaign.
Each year in the UK, over 21,000 women are diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer. This means 58 people receive this life-changing news every day. Sadly, 21 of these women die a day from their gynaecological cancer.
Many of these deaths could be prevented through early diagnosis and treatment. The key to this is to recognise symptoms early.
There are five gynaecological cancers: womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal. The Eve Appeal have produced this helpful guide on the different types of symptoms to look out for.
What can I do?
If you have any worries about these (or other) symptoms, speak to your GP and do not delay! Earlier diagnosis means earlier treatment, which can lead to better outcomes.
The second thing you can do is attend your cervical screening appointment. The prospect of cervical screening can be daunting for many women, but it remains one of the most effective means of picking up cervical cancer early.
Cervical screening is not a test for cancer – it’s a test to help prevent cancer. Cervical screening checks cells from your cervix for certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). These types of HPV can cause abnormal changes to cells in your cervix. If these types of HPV are found during your screening, the cell sample is checked for abnormal changes. If abnormal cells are left untreated, they could turn into cervical cancer.
Women with early cervical cancer can often be symptom-free so without early detection through screening, it could be a while until you become aware of it.
If you have never been to your cervical screening appointment, or have been putting it off for a while, #GynaeCancerAwarenessMonth is the perfect time to make that push and go to your appointment, reassured that millions of other women will be doing the same.
You may have concerns about attending your cervical screening during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Cervical cancer charity, Jo’s Trust, have created some helpful guidance to manage your concerns, which you can find here.
To find out more about #GynaeCancerAwarenessMonth, visit The Eve Appeal’s website.