The sign of cancer women must not ignore, according to charity
September 2, 2020


A charity has warned that women are “quite literally sitting on symptoms” after a poll suggested 80% would not get an unexpected vaginal bleed checked immediately despite it being a possible sign of cancer.

Almost three-quarters (72%) of women surveyed said they were not taught at school how to spot when something is wrong with their periods, the research for The Eve Appeal showed.

While 85% of respondents said they feel comfortable talking about periods with their family and friends, 80% said they would not immediately seek medical attention for abnormal vaginal bleeding, the poll found

Abnormal bleeding is a key symptom of three out of the five gynaecological cancers – womb, cervical and vaginal.

Together, these affect 12,750 women each year, The Eve Appeal said as it launched its Go Red campaign for September to raise awareness of those types of cancers.

The charity said that, while abnormal bleeding is easy to spot, it is often not investigated, either because it is seen as “just one of those things”, a lack of awareness that it could be a symptom, embarrassment, fear of attending the GP surgery, or difficulties in getting to the GP.

The organisation stressed that awareness of this key symptom – which can be bleeding in between periods, after sex, after the menopause or bleeding that is much heavier or more painful than what is normal for you – is critical for improving early diagnosis in these three cancers.

Dr Sue Ward, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist and vice president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, called for more “open conversations” among people about women’s health, saying it could be life-changing.

“Medical professionals, women, and society, need to start having more open conversations about women’s health, including abnormal bleeding and post-menopausal bleeding,” she said.

“This needs to start in school and continue throughout a woman’s life. Ultimately, sharing experiences and providing easy access to information about gynaecological cancers will help to save lives.”

Athena Lamnisos, chief executive of The Eve Appeal, said there can be many reasons for bleeding that are not cancer, but women need to ensure they are checked.


She said: “There are lots of reasons for abnormal vaginal bleeding – it probably isn’t cancer, but it should be ruled out.

“It’s so worrying that women are quite literally sitting on symptoms. We want to make everyone aware of our key message and get bleeding checked.”

Dr Anita Mitra, gynaecologist and obstetrician and Go Red ambassador, said women should never be worried about wasting a doctor’s time and that it is important to diagnose such cancers early.

“Abnormal bleeding is relatively common and fortunately most of the time it isn’t cancer,” she said.

“But I often see women who have hesitated to come to see a doctor because they’re worried about wasting our time. It is never a waste of time, and if you are unfortunately found to have a cancer, the earlier we see you, the better.”


Source: https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/sign-cancer-women-must-not-4473385


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