Along with back-to-school vibes and new season wardrobes, September marks Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month in the UK; 30 days dedicated to raising awareness around the five gynaecological cancers that can affect women.
But despite us losing mothers, sisters, friends and colleagues to gynaecological cancer, there’s still a staggeringly low awareness of gynae health and specifically these types of cancers. The survival rate is so much better if gynaecological cancers are diagnosed early, so let’s do all we can to show our support and help spread the word about the signs and symptoms – with September being the perfect time to start. Here’s how you can get involved.
Join the Pink Parcel community
This month, we’ve put together a special edition Pink Parcel to honour Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month. September’s Pink Parcel has been created with The Eve Appeal, the UK’s only gynaecological cancer charity working to educate women and address the stigma surrounding the five gynae cancers. The focus of our Eve Edit, worth over £45, is getting to know yourself and your body as part of a total self-care reboot; by subscribing this month you’ll receive your period essentials, discover new cult products and beauty must-haves, and be proud to be a part of the Pink Parcel community – an honest, informative space where we can learn more about our periods and talk openly about the health issues that affect us.
Get gynae cancer aware
“We hear all too often that the first time a woman has heard of a gynae cancer is when she’s sitting in a consulting room, receiving the news that they’ve been diagnosed with one,” says The Eve Appeal. And it’s about time that changed. By getting clued up on the signs you need to look out for when it comes to ovarian, womb, cervical, vaginal and vulval cancer, you can help safeguard yourself, and the women you love against the disease. Not all symptoms such as irregular or unexplained bleeding, or abnormal vaginal discharge necessarily means cancer, but knowledge certainly is power, right?
Spread the word
And it’s not just knowing all about the five gynaecological cancers – talking openly about the topic can make a difference too. Research from The Eve Appeal revealed people are often too embarrassed to discuss gynaecological cancers or the signs and symptoms. As a result, in recent years there has been a rise in the number of younger women being diagnosed with gynaecological cancer and these cancers can affect women of any age. Speaking out without shame challenges the stigma surrounding gynae cancer and can save women’s lives. Use the hashtag #talkgynae, start an all-important conversation and don’t forget to sign The Eve Appeal’s pledge to Put Cancer On The Curriculum.
This campaign calls for the government to amend the draft guidance for Relationships, Sex and Health Education curriculum in schools – adding a cancer education programme and teaching all school children about the benefits and purpose of the HPV vaccination programme, alongside the cervical cancer screening programme.
Arming the next generation with empowering, positive knowledge is of course a topic that’s close to Pink Parcel’s heart – through our betty for schools education programme, we too are helping to create a generation of girls and boys who are confident and at ease talking about periods and their bodies.
Show your support
There are plenty of ways to show your support for Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month. We’re taking part in The Eve Appeal’s Go Red campaign by making a donation to wear red for a day – you can join in too by dressing head-to-toe in red on a day during September, or boasting a bold, red lip and sharing your pout on social. Get friends, family and your workplace involved too.
Raise the funds
Any donations to The Eve Appeal undoubtedly help with their ground-breaking work into early detection and prevention of gynae cancers – fundraising is so very important when it comes to driving their promising research projects forward and helping more women who are affected. Buy a bespoke Pink Parcel canvas tote from the Pink Shop – there are two slogan bags to choose from, and you'll automatically be donating £1 directly to the Eve Appeal.
As well as signing up for Go Red, you can also drum up cash for the cause by holding your own fundraising activity or by marking Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month with a JustGiving link to your email sign-off.