I started the organisation because, as a womb cancer survivor (I’d been diagnosed in late Dec. 2009) I remembered how scared and lonely I felt when I was going through my treatment. I’d searched for info and found very little and finding support was hard.
I had joined the local cancer support group on the island but it was all breast cancer patients and I felt totally out of place. It was a social get together, and as nice as the ladies were, it wasn’t what I wanted or needed. I wanted information and they couldn’t provide it. I turned to the internet and found very little specific womb cancer support there either.
So around 6 months after my treatment ended I took the step and set up WCSUK. It started as a simple FB page offering information gathered from around the internet and was a place where women who had been diagnosed could come together and share their experiences.
Since then we have grown into the leading womb cancer support and awareness organisation in the UK with well over 2000 likers on the FB page and a private chat group of 125 ladies. We have a great social media presence and a website that is getting around 1,000 hits each week.
We are collaborating with various organisations and charities who are helping us spread the word about womb cancer.
It’s amazing to think that in the 5 years since we have been going, that there is still no national awareness campaign for womb cancer, despite it being the 4th most common female cancer and the most common gynae cancer. It gets very little media attention and there are still many women who have never heard of it until they get diagnosed.
Since we started we have posted out almost 5000 womb cancer awareness leaflets and these have gone up and down the country from Shetland to Isle of Wight and everywhere in between. They have been put in GP surgeries, clinics, health centres, chemists, libraries, gyms and even in the ladies loo in a nightclub.
Hearing from yet another lady who has been diagnosed happens at least once or twice a week but it is always heart breaking when it’s a younger lady, some of our youngest were diagnosed even before they were 20. These young ladies often struggle to get a diagnosis because they are told they are “too young” to get womb cancer so are fobbed off. Only recently the case of a young woman made the national papers – she was finally diagnosed at 26 after being told she was “too young” to have womb cancer!!
Raising awareness is vital if we are to stop the numbers of women, of all ages, from being diagnosed with womb cancer. CRUK say that 9022 women were diagnosed in 2013 and they say the figures are rising by around 10% every year. We need women to know and understand the risk factors and in that way we can hopefully prevent the numbers being diagnosed from increasing so much.
WCSUK isn’t just me; I am lucky to have a group of lovely ladies around me who are helping to raise awareness, and WCSUK is committed to doing all we can to spread the word about this cancer and to also support those women who get diagnosed.
So here’s to the next 5 years.
xx Kaz xx