MORE than seven thousand women in the UK are diagnosed with womb cancer every year; 1,741 women died as a result of it in 2008.
Buteman reader Kaz Molloy was one of the lucky ones – and as part of Womb Cancer Awareness Month she is organising a coffee morning in Rothesay on Tuesday, September 20 to raise the public profile of the disease.
Womb cancer is often thought of as a condition that mainly affects women who have gone through the menopause, but more and more younger women are being diagnosed with the disease.
The precise cause is still unknown, but there are many contributing factors that make it more likely that a woman may develop the condition. The most common symptom is abnormal bleeding; this may be due to many causes other than cancer, but you should always see your GP about it.
Having had a recent normal |smear test doesn’t mean that you don’t have cancer of the womb, as smear tests rarely pick up any abnormalities in the womb.
If the cancer is discovered at an early stage, when it has not spread beyond the womb, it may be cured by a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the womb). As this treatment is very successful for many women, further treatment is not normally necessary.
Radiotherapy may also be given after the operation if your surgeon feels that there is any risk of the cancer coming back, and it can be used instead of surgery if the cancer can’t be removed surgically, or if you aren’t well enough to have an operation; chemotherapy is also used sometimes if it is thought that the cancer may have spread beyond the womb.
Kaz was unlucky to have to need all three options – but she survived, and is now keen to lend a hand to the efforts of Womb Cancer Support UK, an online support group, in raising awareness of a condition which has yet to enjoy the same media coverage as cancer of the breast or the cervix.
The group – whose website can be accessed by clicking on the link to the right of this article - offers support and advice to women at all stages of treatment; from diagnosis through to getting the all clear and beyond.
This Tuesday’s coffee morning – with leaflets available, and plenty of home baking on offer - takes place at St Paul’s Church Hall in Deanhood Place from 11am until 3pm, and money raised from the event will go to a vital womb cancer research project being carried out at Hammersmith Hospital in London.