2020 has been a rollercoaster year so far with Covid-19 virus affecting all of our lives in some way and taken loved ones home to be with the Lord sooner than expected.
Many of us have found accessing healthcare more challenging with the pandemic, not only due to reduced patient lists but anxiety around leaving the house and entering a clinical environment.
September is gynaecological cancer awareness month and it is important to highlight issues that many of us may push aside in favour of other seemingly more important circumstances.
As with Covid-19, those from black backgrounds are at a higher risk of dying from cervical cancer.
Gynaecological cancers can be silent and insidious.
There are some red flags that you must be aware of and contact your GP urgently.
•Postmenopausal bleeding (PMB)
The menopause is a retrospective diagnosis – made when a lady has not had a menstrual period consecutively every month for one year.
Any bleeding after this time period is NOT normal and warrants early review. If you or a loved one experiences postmenopausal bleeding please see your GP. There are many benign causes for PMB, but nevertheless please see a doctor.
In the UK there is a cervical screening programme from the age of 25-64
It requires a cervical smear test every 3 years if you are between the ages of 25-49 and every 5 years between the age of 50-64.
It checks for changes in the cells of the cervix and certain viruses that can lead to cervical cancer.
There is a lot of anxiety and scaremongering surrounding going to get your smear. It is so so so important to get this done as early detection leads to early and relatively simple treatment. The procedure takes less than 15minutes and though may be slightly uncomfortable is not painful.
If you are overdue I urge you to book an appointment, it is not something you should ignore.
We do not have the spirit of fear but God has given us the comforter the Holy Spirit who lets us know the mysteries of God. We do not walk in fear but in full knowledge of the kingdomhood to which we belong.
Let lack of knowledge not be your or your loved ones portion.