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10 Things YOU Should Know About Gynaecological Cancers …

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10 Things YOU Should Know About Gynaecological Cancers …
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

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Hi,

10 Things Women Should Know About Gynaecological Cancers

30/04/2017 17:25

Fabrice Poincelet via Getty Images

One day I will write a fun book about gynaecological cancers and looking after our vaginas. Until then, here is a short list of ten things that I think every woman (and man) should know. The icing and decoration is fun, but the cake mixture is serious. Some of the points might be blindingly obvious, in which case, sorry for being so basic. However, I hope everyone who reads this will learn at least one new thing, or be reminded of something they already know but might have forgotten. Vaginas, sex, bleeding, wombs and everything associated with what’s between our legs is not the first choice of conversation for most people, but it is for me. I had cervical cancer just over two years ago, perform comedy about the whole debacle, and now work for The Eve Appeal, a charity that raises awareness and funds for research into gynae (look at me being all snazzy and shortening the word ‘gynaecological’) cancers. This means that most of my life is spent talking about awkward lady things. And I love it. If you enjoy this post, please share it so that we can spread as much knowledge and awareness as possible.

1. There are FIVE gynaecological cancers.

That’s right, five different bits ‘down there’ that can get you entry to the cancer club. They are: womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal. Yes, the vagina and vulva are not the same thing. I like to think of the vulva as the letterbox and the vagina as the doormat.

2. If you are bleeding when you shouldn’t be, see your doctor.

Abnormal vaginal bleeding (i.e. bleeding after the menopause, in between periods or after sex) is a symptom of four out of five gynae cancers (not vulval). It’s probably nothing serious, or your boyfriend just has a huge penis, but you need to get it checked out by a doctor just in case.

3. Ovarian cancer is sneaky.

Most ovarian cancer isn’t diagnosed until it has spread outside the ovary. One of the most common symptoms is persistent abdominal bloating, aka ‘puffy tummy’. This is often misdiagnosed as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and therefore the cancer is left undiscovered for longer. If you feel bloated for three or more weeks, see your doctor and fingers crossed that you’re just a gassy bitch.

4. GO FOR YOUR SMEAR TEST.

Smear tests save thousands of lives every year in the UK. They can detect abnormal cells that if left untreated, could turn into cervical cancer. Please, please, please don’t avoid your appointment. Yes, it can be a bit awkward having a stranger give you a poke with a bit of plastic, but a few minutes could save your life. So take your knickers off and spread those legs.

5. Hashtag Don’t Judge.

Almost all cervical cancers (plus some vaginal and vulval cancers) are caused by a virus called HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). There are sooo many different strands of HPV, but types 16 and 18 are the ones that can over time, turn cells in your cervix against you, which is a real bugger. HPV is caused through sexual contact. Condoms don’t protect against it entirely and you can get it from just having sex once. Therefore, if someone has HPV it doesn’t mean they are having dick for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also, if they were, does it even matter? Most people who have had sex will get HPV at some point in their lives and only in very rare cases can the body not get rid of it. Then it might turn into cancer, but it might not. It’s like very unlucky and scary Russian Roulette.

6. Don’t suck, swallow or blow.

Cigarettes. Without going into boring science stuff, you’re twice as likely to get cervical cancer if you smoke, so it’s really not a good idea. I know a menthol cigarette, glass of sauvignon blanc, pub garden and outdoor heater burning the top of your head is the stuff that dreams are made of, and lord I have been guilty of living that dream. But. Just. Don’t.

7. Losing lady parts doesn’t make you less of a lady.

If you have a gynaecological cancer, chances are you will lose at least some of your ‘lady parts’. Surgery is very likely, so yes, you might have your ovaries, or womb, or cervix, or vagina or vulva partially or entirely removed. I know that’s sad and horrible, but please remember that you are no less of a woman just because you can’t carry a baby, or because you need your labia rebuilt from your arse skin. You’re amazing.

8. Make the jokes.

Oh my god it feels good to laugh, doesn’t it? It’s so much FUN to make jokes about awful things. If you don’t want to, that’s absolutely fine, but if you do laugh at the fact that you have now been fingered by more medical staff than lovers (like I have) then you are my new best friend and let’s go and drink gin.

9. Have a night in.

With yourself. Aside from being on bleeding and bloating patrol, get to know your body. Touch yourself. Yes, that means what you think it means. What does your vagina feel like when you insert your finger(s)? What do your labia feel like when you rub them in between your thumb and index finger? If you do this regularly, you will notice if there is a change and can get a doctor’s opinion if you need to.

10. Everyone handles a cancer diagnosis differently.

If you’ve had ‘that news’ then I’m really, really sorry. It’s scary and weird. Please remember that there is no right or wrong way to ‘have’ cancer. It doesn’t matter if you talk about at every opportunity or never utter a word. Just look after yourself and do whatever is right for you.

To view the original article CLICK HERE

Regards,
Greg_L-W.

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Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
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Cervical Cancer Can Be A Death Sentence Under 25 On The NHS …

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Cervical Cancer Can Be A Death Sentence Under 25 On The NHS …
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

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Hi,

Lets not forget the bravery of Jade Goody (5 June 1981 – 22 March 2009) and how she made her fight against cervical cancer so very public right up until the day she died 8 years ago.

Jade Goody not only fought for survival, you will remember she had two little boys, but she fought for recognition of cervical cancer and the need for much younger women to be screened – the problem then was that women under 25 found it all but impossible to have screening, and Doctors seemed woefully ignorant of the risks for younger women.

Seems like little has changed and her efforts were ignored, once the media had no more mawkish picture stories to capitalise on!

Today I received the letter below – as cervical cancer killed yet another young woman because she couldn’t get screening under 25!

I am sure that you can help, either by seeking out petitions to sign or probably more valuably if you write to your political representatives and petition them yourself, on a regular basis, after all it could be your daughter, sister, girl friend or young wife who is condemned to death because she couldn’t get screening under 25!

If you are a young woman under 25 it could be you!

WHY NOT:
Print out this posting and provide the url sending it with a brief covering note to your MP, Regional Assembly Member and County Councillor – on a regular basis until the NHS law is changed to save young women too!

Just over 2 women die each day of cervical cancer. To be fair to the NHS most of those are in the 60+ age group. However surely teenage girls and young women under 25 should have automatic access to smear tests if they present with any of the symptoms of cervical cancer.

Is it the fact that cervical cancer cases are more prevalent in poorer areas that means it is neglected amongst young women? Do help campaign for a better response to early cervical cancer and help save these young women neglected by the system.

Greg,

My little sister Amber passed away last month after a long battle with cancer. She was only 25. 

She was worried when she started to get symptoms associated with cervical cancer – that was seven years ago. She asked her doctor for a smear test at least 10 times, but every time she was refused. Women in the UK aren’t offered cervical screenings until they turn 25. If my sister had been given what she asked for all those years ago, she might still be here now. 

I want Amber’s death to mean something. That’s why I am campaigning for Amber’s Law: an amendment that would let women under 25 get cervical cancer screening if they ask for it.

In the end Amber had to pay for a private screening in order to get diagnosed – but by then it was too late. She put up a good fight but the cancer had spread everywhere: her lymph nodes, her lungs and her throat. 

Currently women under 25 aren’t screened – the government say lowering the legal age of compulsory screening wouldn’t be productive and women under 25 rarely get this disease. But Amber’s story proves that some young women do get cervical cancer. I don’t think smear tests need to be mandatory for everyone, but if a woman asks her doctor for the test she shouldn’t be ignored. 

Amber was such a fighter. In her last week, when she was admitted to hospital for breathing difficulties, she fought off the paramedics to go upstairs and grab her makeup bag. She was determined keep fighting, she didn’t believe in giving up. Now she’s gone, I am going to be more like Amber and fight to raise her voice.

From
Josh Cliff

Josh Cliff set out to Petition the Government.

Make the cervical screening option available from 18 to high risk groups

The current age for cervical cancer screening in England is 25. If you are under 25 you aren’t allowed to have a screening due to the NHS guidelines, some Gps will send women under 25 for a smear if they have certain symptoms yet some won’t. This is why #Amberslaw needs to come in place. This means there would be a guideline through the NHS which allows ALL gps in any area of the U.K. To send people for smears under 25 if they have symptoms which are classed as alarming or high risk. 

Ambers Law

Any woman under the age of 25 who is not eligible for cervical cancer screening who goes to the doctors with any kind of problems in their lower half on 2 occasions will have the OPTION to have screening.

Amber went to the doctors multiple (I’m talking over 10 at least) times over the course of a few years and was constantly told ‘it’s your hormones’ ‘it’s a water infection’ ‘it’s your pill’ and when she asked for a screening they said no she was too young. We paid for her to get one private at the age of 21 and found she had cervical cancer that had been there for 2-4 years already. This over the course of 4 years spread to her lungs and her throat. Amber died at the age of 25, we lost a sister, daughter, grand daughter and an amazing friend to cancer because she was failed by the people who were meant to provide her care.

How would you feel if it was your sister or daughter? If you know deep down they could of been saved and still here today if they had the option for a screening at any age?

#AmberslawThere has been a couple of petitions been archived with no valid reason. Why not just lower the age? Why cant you help save young women?

Keeley McCormick started this petition with a single signature, and now has 201,319 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.

Regards,
Greg_L-W.

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Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
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> GUEST POST: Lara Prendergast: ‘Cervical Cancer & The Young’!

> GUEST POST: Lara Prendergast: ‘Cervical Cancer & The Young’!
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Cervical cancer doesn’t discriminate, so why does the smear test?

Cancer couldn't care less about geographical boundaries

Cancer couldn’t care less about geographical boundaries

Here’s a piece of confusing medical doctrine: in England, smear tests are offered to women from the age of 25. In Scotland, it’s 20. A couple of months ago, I checked myself in for a smear test, aged 23. The receptionist was easy to convince: ‘In Scotland,’ I said, ‘the age limit is lower. I’d like to have a test done.’ She understood, and booked me in.

But when it came to the appointment, there was no convincing the nurse. I asked why there were different age limits for different parts of the UK. She had no answer. Do the women of Scotland have an increased susceptibility to cervical cancer? No, she didn’t think so. So why then? No answer. At this point, she got a little exasperated with my questions, and tried to palm me off with a chlamydia test. I left in a huff.

Age limits on tests are understandable. But given that some parts of the UK seem to think I’m at risk, and others think I’m not, I’d have thought there would be some leeway. It seems not. Friends who have reached 25 tell me they are now bombarded with letters reminding them it’s time for their test.

I wasn’t surprised to read the sad story about 19-year-old Sophie Jones, who died last week of cervical cancer. She too had been refused a smear test, because she was ‘too young to get the disease’. Her family has launched a petition to prompt parliamentary debate into lowering the age limit for cervical screening. Lowering the age limit may not be medically sound – perhaps 25 is the correct age, but it’s concerning that no one seems able to explain what’s going on with the testing ranges. Either women are at risk at 20, or they are at risk at 25. Geography shouldn’t play a part in it. It’s time for a bit more clarity on the matter; and if a parliamentary debate will catalyse that, then that’s what we should indeed push for.

To view the original of this article CLICK HERE
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Greg_L-W.
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I do make a lousy patient!

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