It also amazes me just how much some of us women will put up with before we go to the GP, so when we do go and are not listened to, or our problems are passed over as something not that important, then its not surprising that we are reluctant to go earlier.
In a newly published document by Macmillan, it was found that 52% of women waited more than a month from the onset of symptoms before going to see their GP. 12% waited more than 6 months.
WHY? If our lives are being disrupted by things like heavy bleeding; pain or unexpected bleeding then why are we not going to our GP's sooner? Have we been conditioned to believe that its all part of being a woman and we should just put up with it? Are we scared to go in case it turns out to be something serious? Or is it that we don't think that we will be listened to and our complaints brushed off?
We as women need to start taking control and listening to our bodies. If things start changing in our monthly periods; or we start getting breakthrough bleeding or pain, then we know that something is not as it should be. We know our bodies better than some male GP whose only knowledge of female internal anatomy is via medical textbooks!!!
I'm not knocking GP's here, honestly! I know there are some pretty good ones out there, and the fact that there are now more and more female GP's makes it a lot easier, but we know our bodies best. We have to start listening to what our body is trying to tell us. And we need to act upon that.
When you eventually get to the GP's surgery, you then need to listen to what your heart and your head is telling you. If you don't like what your GP is telling you, or the course of action they are planning for you, then say so. It can sometimes be hard to speak up and say "I don't want to do that" or "I don't feel comfortable with your decision" but we have to.
Women need to start taking control of our bodies and be prepared to have a say in the treatment of it. This means above all, educating ourselves and becoming aware of things that could go wrong.
Most of you reading this will sadly probably already have a womb cancer diagnosis, but we owe it to all our female friends to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms, some of which we probably were unware of ourselves before our diagnosis. According to the new Macmillan publication, almost 50% of women diagnosed said they were unaware that abnormal bleeding was a symptom of womb cancer.
WCSUK produced some leaflets outlining the main signs and risk factors. If you'd like some to give to your friends or to leave in your local GP surgery for other women to read, then just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get some in the post to you.
xx Kaz xx