Gynaecological Cancer Awareness

by Danni

Founder of Mama Tribe

 

Every day 58 women in the UK are diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer and 21 die. That’s far too many wives, daughters, sisters, partners and friends.

Just before Christmas I was due to have a smear test and I put it off. Its not a fun thing to go and have done, as we all know and plus I was busy getting ready for Christmas, so I ignored the letter!

I received a reminder letter in Jan and reluctantly went along. And i’m glad I did!

Whilst doing the smear, the nurse noticed something and said she wanted to refer me to my GP. She said it’s probably nothing, but the GP would need to look.

I was surprised to get a call from the surgery the following week and an appointment for two days after.

My GP discussed thoroughly my personal history which includes, two vaginal births, IVF, a few Colposcopy procedures following abnormal smears and mild PCOS.

I was a little unnerved because of all the questions and none the wiser as to what it was they thought they’d seen.

She then explained that although my smear test results had come back ok, they were worried about my history of abnormal smear results. She also said I had a polyp, which isn’t really a problem, but she wanted to refer me to gynaecology after taking a few more swabs.

She said at my age, its more common for the there to be problems… i’ve just turned 40!

Again an appointment came through really quickly, which was both a relief and a little worrying.

After another examination this doctor told me that I had a normal cervix with a few Nabothian cysts, but I was reassured there was no sign of cervical cancer. However they wanted me to have a Hysteroscopy to examine my Uterus and to check a benign endometrial polyp which may be causing the shedding of endometrial cells and possibly the previous abnormal smear test results.

Again another speedy appointment, which I was grateful for. At this appointment they examined me further using a camera that looks in to your womb. They do warn you that it can be uncomfortable, but it honestly wasn’t very painful.

I was told my womb looks all clear, which is good news. So now I’m just waiting for the biopsy to come back and confirm that everything is fine.

So I had my smear test, there is no sign of cervical cancer and my womb looks clear.

The reason I’m sharing all this, is because I actually want to highlight Ovarian cancer.

One in four women mistakenly believe a smear test detects ovarian cancer a misunderstanding that ‘could cost lives’

Polling by the Target Ovarian Cancer charity reveals 22 per cent of women – 5million across the UK – think smear tests will pick up ovarian cancer.

Regular smear tests are offered to all women between the ages of 25 and 64 to detect the early signs of cervical cancer.

But they do not pick up any other cancers.

There is no screening programme for ovarian cancer, because no reliable test exists.

March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Whilst it is important that you have your smear test you also need to know the signs of Ovarian cancer. So I just wanted to highlight what they are…

What are the symptoms?

  • Persistent bloating – not bloating that comes and goes
  • Feeling full quickly and/or loss of appetite
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain (that’s your tummy and below)
  • Urinary symptoms (needing to wee more urgently or more often than usual)

Symptoms will be:

  • Frequent – they usually happen more than 12 times a month
  • Persistent – they don’t go away
  • New – they are not normal for you

If you are concerned contact your GP

For more information, advice and support visit Target Ovarian Cancer

Also take a look at Eve Appeal who create awareness and raise funds for all 5 gynaecological cancers.

Each year in the UK, over 21,000 women are diagnosed with a form of gynaecological cancer. This equates to 58 women receiving this life-changing news every day. Sadly 21 women will die from a gynaecological cancer every day. – Eve Appeal 

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