A cancer charity has raised concerns over a lack of awareness of the signs and symptoms of womb cancer. Womb cancer is currently the 4th most common type of cancer diagnosed in women in the UK, yet research suggests that many women are unaware of the potential warning signs.
The Eve Appeal is keen to encourage better awareness, as womb cancer is highly treatable when diagnosed at an early stage. The problem is that many women are unaware of the symptoms, and this means that cases are diagnosed at a more advanced stage, when there’s a high chance of cancer spreading to other parts of the body. Around 9,000 women every year are diagnosed with womb cancer in the UK.
Faith Caton, 35, was diagnosed with womb cancer after experiencing difficulties trying to conceive. She had never even thought about cancer, and said that the word wasn’t even mentioned until the day doctors found a tumour.
Faith suffered from endometriosis and was undergoing a routine procedure to alleviate symptoms of heavy periods when she received the diagnosis in 2015. She had been trying for a baby, and her whole world changed overnight, having been told that the cancer was aggressive and that she would have to have a hysterectomy and contend with early menopause. All her plans changed in an instant and she was forced to consider life without children. During 6 months of treatment, which Faith said were incredibly difficult, Faith was supported by her partner, but admitted that there were days when she struggled to even open her eyes. Now having finished treatment, Faith is eager to spread the word and educate her friends and family. She wasn’t aware of the symptoms, and if she had been, there’s a chance that her tumour could have been spotted sooner.
Symptoms of womb cancer include heavy bleeding between periods and after the menopause, bleeding during or after sex, heavy periods, which don’t improve with treatment, irregular periods and bloody or watery vaginal discharge.
Chief executive of the Eve Appeal, Athena Lamnisos, said that over a third of womb cancer cases could be prevented and highlighted the importance of early diagnosis. The message from Faith and the Eve Appeal is to see your doctor if you notice any unusual or abnormal.