I know now that there are 5 gynaecological cancers but back at the end of 2009 I had only ever heard of 2 – ovarian and cervical. So being diagnosed with a cancer I had never heard of came as a bit of a shock to say the least. When I was told I had endometrial carcinoma I actually had to ask my gynaecologist where exactly the cancer was!! I then decided to call it womb cancer because it was much less of a mouthful!!
I am now a bit more savvy when it comes to gynae cancers and now know that there are 5 of them. Just in case you don't know all 5 they are womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal - listed in order of numbers diagnosed.
After I finished my treatment in July 2010 I started doing some research and began to realise that even though womb cancer was the most common of the 5 gynae cancers there was very little awareness about it and even less research. There was also no dedicated womb cancer support groups out there so in 2011, I started Womb Cancer Support UK, which is an online based not for profit organisation.
It soon became apparent that many of the women who came to us for support had never heard of this cancer either before being diagnosed with it so I was determined to make sure that awareness was just as important as supporting those women who had already been diagnosed.
Over the past 7 years, not only have we supported many women who have been diagnosed but we have worked hard to raise awareness of womb cancer. Sadly there is this misconception that it is a cancer than only affects older women, mainly post-menopausal ones but we know from the women that come to us that it can affect women of all ages.
We know of at least 2 young women who were diagnosed before the age of 20; we also know of several young women in their 30’s who have died as a result of womb cancer; I myself was told at 46 that I was on the young side to get womb cancer.
We need to make sure that all women (and GP’s) understand that a woman is #NeverTooYoung to get womb cancer. It can and does affect women of all ages.
Throughout the month of May The Eve Appeal is running their #GetLippy campaign to raise awareness of all 5 gynae cancers – the 3rd week of the month they are focussing on womb cancer so please get behind the campaign and help #GiveWombCancerAVoice.
We need all women to be aware of womb cancer and know that it could affect them. If you are experiencing any sudden heavy bleeding or bleeding between your normal periods or get any post-menopausal bleeding then please don’t ignore it like I did. Go see your GP and get checked out. It may not be womb cancer but if it is then the sooner it’s caught the better the outcome.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed, either recently or in the past and want some support then you can check out our website or find us on Facebook.