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How much do you know about Gynaecological cancers?

Women are being encouraged to know the signs and symptoms of gynaecological cancers – those that develop in a woman’s reproductive tract.

September is Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month and an opportunity to encourage women to become more aware of cancers of the cervix, vagina, vulva, ovaries, and womb.  Being aware of the symptoms can help women know when they should see their GP.

Sharon Manning, Gynae/Oncology/Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist, said: “The earlier gynaecological cancers are found, the more likely it is that treatment will be successful. You are not wasting your doctor’s time by getting your symptoms checked.”

Symptoms of gynaecological cancers include:

  • A lump or sore on your vulva or vagina, or in your groin
  • A swelling or lump in your groin (where your leg joins to your body)
  • Other vulva changes – including itching, burning or soreness
  • Unusual vaginal discharge – including watery, blood-stained or smelly discharge
  • Heavier or more painful periods than usual
  • Bleeding between periods, after sex or after menopause
  • Pain when peeing, needing to pee often, or blood in your pee
  • Pain in the vulval area or pelvic area
  • Thickened, raised, red, white or dark patches on the skin of the vulva
  • A long-lasting bloated feeling in your tummy (having a swollen tummy)
  • Feeling full quickly and/or loss of appetite
  • Pain or discomfort in the lower tummy area and/or back

Sharon added: “Having these, or any other ongoing, unexplained symptoms doesn’t mean you have cancer but it is important to get them checked in case you do.”

For more information and details on all of these cancers or if you would just like someone to talk to, call Macmillan free on 0808 808 00 00, (7 days a week 8am – 8pm) or visit www.macmillan.org.uk