A cancer that affects more women than either ovarian or cervical cancer; cancers that most women have at least heard of even if they don’t know the symptoms of them.
Around 25 women a day (according to CRUK figures) are diagnosed with womb cancer yet from what I hear from women who contact WCSUK, many of them had never heard of it until they were actually diagnosed, much like myself over 8 years ago. I would have hoped that things would have changed by now but sadly it seems not – but why?
Why is womb cancer not as well-known as ovarian or cervical cancer? Why is there not a national awareness campaign? Why are there not awareness leaflets in every GP waiting room? Why are women having to fight to get their symptoms taken seriously? Why are women who get womb cancer blamed for somehow bringing it on themselves for being obese when only 41% of cases (according to CRUK) can be attributed to being overweight? Why is there still this misconception by GP’s that womb cancer only affects older, post menopausal women? Why are women who get womb cancer told that it’s a “good cancer” to get? Why is it left to a small group of womb cancer survivors to keep on shouting about this? We do what we can but it’s never going to be enough.
I wish I knew the answers to all these questions because it would make it all so much easier.
There is a cancer organisation called “My name is not cancer” – well, for me it is. Like I said I never expected to still be doing this, 7+ years on. I never thought there would be a need for me to keep doing it.
Thankfully the support side of WCSUK needs very little work because the private support group virtually runs itself. The women in there are a wonderful bunch and very support of each other especially when a newly diagnosed lady joins the group.
WCSUK has never been about me, despite what some people think. I don’t like attention and the only reason I post about my own experience is to raise awareness. I know my case is a complex one and thankfully many women who get diagnosed with womb cancer go on to make, if not a full recovery, then at least a very good one.
One of the things I try to do is empower women to ask questions and keep asking until they get the answers they need. No one told me that I could ask questions. I was made to feel that I had no choices; that I had to do what I was told. I felt powerless and pushed into having treatment that has ultimately ruined my life.
This is why I do what I do with WCSUK.
This September’s womb cancer awareness campaign will be our 8th and it is getting harder to find ways to spread the word and raise awareness. Social media is great for reaching out to people but it has its limitations, especially when many people are more interested in reality tv programmes and celebrity gossip.
But those of us that care enough to do something will continue to do so because we can and because we know it’s the right thing to do.
So with just over 8 weeks to go until the start of the 2018 womb cancer awareness month, we are getting ready to #GiveWombCancerAVoice, as we do every single day of the year.