With so many cancer awareness months and weeks on our calendars we need to not only be mindful of them for the duration of their campaigns but all year round. I wanted to dedicate this post to Women and Cancer.
This post is hard for me to write as there are so many facets that I could write about giving the history of a many number and specific cancers that affect women, statistics and share with you the heartbreaking and the inspiring stories that are associated with cancer in women, but I want to use this post to promote that women who read this to go and have their health checks regardless of if they are feeling unwell or not.
How many of you are due for a pap smear? a Mammogram? or Colonoscopy? or a general check up with your GP?. How many of you are putting it off? I understand that people lead busy lives, have families and many do not make the time to relax let alone do a health check up!. A simple test can do so much and be a preventative step in making sure you remain healthy and well.
I am not here to scare you with statistics or gut wrenching stories ( I could though) but I want to gently remind all my gal followers to PROMISE me to make the effort, before the “silly season” of Christmas/New Year, to go and have your check ups!.
As a passionate Nurse who works mainly in Obstetric/Gynae/ Gynae Oncology procedures and see many women EVERY single day coming to have all kinds of cancer related surgeries in order to be both preventative and with the intention of being curable. I see the looks of determination on their faces as people are realising too that cancer does not always mean death. I am always very pleased to see women come in and have a routine check up D&C (Dilatation and Curettage),and sure they may be nervous- but they all agree it needs to be done. People arent as afraid as they used to be, it seems that they are becoming more afraid to NOT do something and make the steps to having their check ups .
I also work in alot of breast cancer related surgeries. If I am honest with you, the lists are too long and the ages of these women vary dramatically. We all now know that cancer does not discriminate and there are many advances in the treatment of cancers, but we still continue the fight for a cure. The McGrath Foundation works tirelessly to raise support, awareness and funds to have breast cancer Nurses to come give hrlp and support to breast cancer patients. The foundation is highly profiled with their (not only) month long campaigns but keep their ongoing work all year round
I encourage people to have 2nd and 3rd opinions if they are not happy and content with the management of their health. I do also believe that our bodies can alert us to issues that need to be addressed and sometimes they dont and that is when and why we should all take control. I believe its always good to have a base line and get used to taking care and CONTROL of your health.For example, and I stress I AM NOT A DOCTOR but take Smokers for example, if you find it impossible to give up have an Xray every so often (once a year for heavy smokers I would say- or every 2 years) to ensure everything is ok.
Early detection is always the best kind. If you have a family history of any cancers talk about it with your GP and make them aware too. When I hear patients say very casually “Im just here for a check up” my heart beams as I think these women have taken the time to get along to their GP and have made the choice to take control of their own body.
Guys reading this, you too can help promote women in your life to keep up to date, support and encourage loved ones to go for their health checks-
We are ALL responsible.
Please take the time to check out some of these websites for more information