Young women in the UK are less educated than their elder counterparts about the symptoms and issues around gynaecological cancers; and worryingly, more embarrassed to discuss them than older women. This is according to a new survey released today by women’s cancer research charity, The Eve Appeal.
One in five women aged 16-25 years surveyed couldn’t name a single correct symptom of any of the five gynaecological cancers, and less than a quarter said they felt confident that they were well informed about gynaecological health issues, compared to over 42% of women aged 66-75.
Perhaps more shockingly, it’s the language of gynaecological health that is proving an additional barrier to young women opening up about concerns around gynaecological cancers, with 65% saying they have a problem using the words vagina or vulva, and nearly 40% of 16-25 year olds resorting to using code names such as ‘lady parts’ or ‘women’s bits’ to discuss gynaecological health.
Helena Morrissey, Chairman of The Eve Appeal commented:
“At the Eve Appeal we know how important it is to promote straight talking about the signs and symptoms of gynaecological cancers to women of all ages, and this survey has highlighted just how far we still have to go to make this happen.
“These cancers have some of the worst outcomes for women, with a 40% mortality rate. Understanding the symptoms will save lives, which is why we are urging women this Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month to talk more openly about these life-saving issues.”
For more information about Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month (GCAM) visit www.eveappeal.org.uk.