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As the years go by, there is more awareness around breast cancer and other types of cancer but there are five gynaecological cancers (cancers of female reproductive system) – womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal where awareness levels is very low. 

Each year, nearly 90 000 women in the United States are diagnosed with a gynaecologic cancer. More than 242,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer.  

Each year in the UK, over 21,000 women are diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer. This means 58 people receive this life-changing news each and every day.

Being more aware of the general symptoms of any cancer can save your life and of those around you. In this cancer awareness month, we would love all Heritage women to be familiar with the presenting signs and symptoms of all cancers and cancers specific to women. Each cancer has specific signs that differentiate it from other type of cancers e.g. lung cancer can be coughing up blood, chest pain and breathlessness among others while womb cancer will be bleeding after menopause. 

Due to low awareness in these groups of cancers, we would like to concentrate on their red flag symptoms so that immediate help can be sought if anyone experiences them. Having one or more of these symptoms doesn’t mean you have cancer. But if they last two weeks or longer, see your doctor to get yourself checked out.

Most of the gynaecological cancers have these symptoms in common such as; 

  • Abdominal/tummy/back pain 
  • Abnormal bleeding or discharge 
  • New unusual tiredness 
  • Loss of appetite and unintentional/unusual weight loss. 
  • Bloating 
  • Itchy or yellow skin 
  • Indigestion. 
  • Change in bowel habit 

A doctor will ask questions and can rule in/out which cancer does or does not fit the symptoms that are presented and investigate further urgently. Each gynaecological have specific signs related to them and are listed in the table below 

Type of cancer 

Reg flag symptoms

Womb/endometrial/uterine 

post-menopausal bleeding (unexplained vaginal bleeding more than 12 months after menstruation has stopped because of the menopause). 

Ovarian (can present with very vague symptoms)

  • Mass or fluid in abdomen 
  • Persistent abdominal distension (women often refer to this as 'bloating').
  • Feeling full (early satiety) and/or loss of appetite.
  • Increased urinary urgency and/or frequency.
  • Cervical 

  • vaginal bleeding after intercourse
  • Abnormal Vaginal discharge with foul odour
  • Pelvic pain during intercourse
  • Vulvar

    Unexplained vulval lump, ulceration, or bleeding.

    Vaginal 

    Unexplained mass or lump in or at the entrance to the vagina.

     

    In support of the of this day we have put a Pink Collection together to raise awareness for World Cancer Awareness Day. On this important occasion, we join the global community in the fight against cancer and in honouring those who have been affected by the disease. With the purchase of a Pink Collection item, not only will you receive a beautiful and high-quality product, but you will also be contributing to a vital cause and making a positive impact in the fight against cancer. Together, let's raise awareness and support those affected by this disease on World Cancer Awareness Day.