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Gear Up For Gynae Month

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Gynaecological Cancer.gif
Gynaecological Cancer.gif

Gynaecological cancer kills 1 New Zealand woman each day.

September 1 marks the start of New Zealand's Gynaecological Cancer awareness month, which aims to educate and inform women and their loved ones about the signs and symptoms of the main types of gynaecological cancers - ovarian, cervical, uterine and vulval/vaginal.

Sarah Hutchings, General Manager of New Zealand Gynaecological Cancer Foundation is passionate about educating women and is committed to lowering the incidence of gynaecological cancer in New Zealand.

"It is important that all women know the early warning signs to look out for and don't continue on when they know that something is 'just not right'. By taking action early and talking to their doctor, it could just save their life. We are encouraging women to go to their doctor sooner as early detection is the best form of prevention," said Sarah.

Whilst there is a Pap Test that detects early changes in cervical cells and can detect cervical cancer, there is no screening test for the other gynaecological cancers.

"This is why it is so important that women take action to protect themselves," added Sarah.

"Ovarian cancer, the most common form of gynaecological cancer, has a simple acronym that is useful to remember," said Sarah. It is BEAT:

B is for Bloating that is persistent and doesn't come and go.

E is for Eating - difficulty eating and feeling full more quickly.

A is for Abdominal and pelvic pain that you feel most days.

T is for Talking - tell your doctor.

September activities:

Gynaecological Cancer awareness month begins with an adaption of Eve Ensler's 'The Vagina Monologues,' which is playing in Auckland's Basement Theatre.

The show features a revolving cast of 20 and features Beth Allen, Antonia Prebble, Fleur Saville, Anna Julienne, and Lisa Chappell and aims to entertain and educate women about being one with their vaginas.

The show's producer is Shortland Street's Beth Allen.

"I feel personally motivated to change common attitudes to gynaecological health. Both my Grandmothers died of gynaecological cancer, and I had high risk cervical cells surgically removed when I was at University," said Beth.

Gynaecological Cancer awareness month will also enter the homes of many women around the country through 'Share & Care' events.

Sarah Hutchings explains: "Share & Care events are all about getting women to talk about their personal experiences with gynaecological cancer in an informal and fun setting, whilst learning about the signs and symptoms along the way."

Women from around the country register their events online and will receive information packs to assist them in hosting an event.

"It could be a book club meeting that is themed for the occasion, a morning tea at work with the girls, or an afternoon coffee with the other school mums," said Sarah.

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