This month is all about the Eve Appeal, who have led Gynae cancer awareness month, to raise awareness of the five gynaecological cancers; Ovarian, Womb, Cervical, Vaginal, and Vulval. Not everybody knows about all five. Recent years have seen a lot in the press about cervical cancer, which is one of the most preventable forms of female specific cancers, particularly with the development of the HPV vaccine (and great news, it’s working! more info HERE), and this is GREAT, but how many of us can reel off the symptoms of vaginal cancer? How about womb cancer? Vulval? I’ve been wracking my brain to try to recall a news item or article about these lesser known Gynae cancers, and I just can’t remember one!
I read a story recently on the Eve Appeal website. Karen, a woman in her 40s was diagnosed with thrush throughout her 20s and 30s. When in her 40s the situation became worse, she was again diagnosed with thrush and eczema, and sent to a dermatologist. Over many months, she was seen by a number of different specialists, the last of which eventually insisted on a biopsy of a lump that had formed on her vulva. It turned out to be vulval cancer. Luckily, the subsequent surgeries and treatments have so far proved to be effective, and it looks like she’s doing well. You can read more HERE.
The story got me thinking though. If I’d had similar symptoms, would I have known to get it properly checked out? Thrush is such a ‘normal’ condition, and something that can be so easily dealt with, it can just seem a mild annoyance. And am I familiar enough with the usual look and feel of my vulva to know when something’s not quite right? I think that’s why this month has been so important. I’m completely determined now to read up on all five Gynae cancers, and really get to grips with the signs and symptoms. I’ll be talking about it too; a lot! I regularly get together with my girlfriends for Wednesday Ladies Night at my favourite local restaurant for dinner (and wine, obviously. Lots of lovely wine), so I think I can happily add one Big Topic to our girly chat at our next meet.
Last night, the Detox Kitchen hosted a fundraiser with the Eve Appeal. I’d so been looking forward to the event, and got all dressed up and on the train to meet with my friend who I was taking along too. We travelled for about 4 minutes on the train at snail’s pace then stopped; signal failure at Wimbledon! Eventually after an hour and a half of sitting on a train (and watching trains get through next to us with no problem! Rage!) I had to call it a night, and didn’t make it. Really sorry I didn’t, I was so looking forward to it, but hope it went well.
To find out more about the Eve Appeal and the signs and symptoms of the five Gynae cancers, click HERE