This September, it’s Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month– an important month in the calendar, aiming to encourage awareness of the different cancers that can affect a woman’s body. Heightened awareness means more early diagnoses, which in turn means a better chance of survival for suffers.
Going for a smear test is a mild inconvenience for most, and obviously it’s not the most pleasant of experiences, but it is quick, relatively painless -and could save your life.
Cervical cancer awareness has been on the rise in the UK over the past 10 years, as more and more women realise the devastating effect that the illness can have on their lives. Thanks to smear testing and inoculation, the chances of survival and recovery are much higher than they were a decade ago.
But cervical cancer is only one part of the gynecologic cancer puzzle. Women are also at risk of contracting ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, vaginal cancer and vulval cancer. Each illness comes with its own symptoms and treatments, but many women are unaware that these cancers even exist. In 2014, there were 7,378 cases of ovarian cancer in the UK, 9324 cases of uterine cancer, 254 cases of vaginal cancer and 1,313 cases of vulval cancer. With early diagnosis and correct treatment, it’s possible to fight these cancers, but the survival statistics for ovarian cancer, in particular, are frighteningly low, suggesting that women are not getting the help they need in time.
Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month aims to change this. Founded in 1999, September has been marked as a time to raise awareness about a topic that ideally we’d rather not talk about- or forget to.
The message is clear: don’t miss a smear test and if you notice anything unusual in the gynecological area, talk to a doctor, especially if your family has a history of cancer. You can contact Tania Adib, our gynecological specialist, on 0207 881 4181 if you have any concerns or have been recently diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer and are looking for some help and support.