Great Britain

How heavy periods and bleeding after sex can be signs of cancer, women warned

KNOW YOUR NORMAL

ABNORMAL bleeding can be a sign of cancer - but most women won't know the warning signals.

Heavy periods, bleeding after sex and after the menopause are all symptoms that should be taken seriously.

If it is an issue experienced a number of times women are urged to go and get a check up from their GP.

It could be nothing to worry about, but it could also be a sign of something more serious that requires treatment.

The Eve Appeal, Always, Always Discreet and Tesco have come together to launch a campaign to raise awareness of abnormal bleeding.

They want every woman to know the warning signs and check if they have cancer if they are suffering with "red flag" symptoms.

Athena Lamnisos, CEO, The Eve Appeal: "Reaching everyone with this simple message - Know Your Normal – will connect people with vital health information at the point where they will be thinking about their periods.

"With cancer, early diagnosis is key, and getting abnormal bleeding checked at the earliest opportunity leads to much better outcomes. It might not be cancer, but best to rule it out."

A recent YouGov survey found less than half of the women asked knew heavy periods could be a sign of gynaecological cancer.

And just under 60 per cent were aware bleeding after penetrative sex is also something to get checked out.

GET CHECKED

Minister for Health, Jo Churchill, said: “It’s so important for women to know what is normal for them and it’s vital to see their doctor if they notice anything unusual to find out what is causing it.

"Bringing together powerful voices from retail and period products with expert charity, The Eve Appeal, is a brilliant way to reach people with this important message and raise awareness.

“It’s crucial we do more to improve women’s health and education about their wellbeing which is why we will launch our first ever Women’s Health Strategy to tackle issues like these.”

Know Your Normal encourages those with gynae organs to get checked if they are suffering with abnormal bleeding.

QR codes on Always and Always Discreet products in Tesco will help direct people to expert advice and information from The Eve appeal.

Vijaya Varilly, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2020, said: “I was diagnosed with cervical cancer at age 31 on day 6 of the pandemic.

"It was a shocking diagnosis given that I had clear cervical screening (smear tests) and no instantly recognisable symptoms. I had forced the doctor to refer me to a specialist though as my period pains were soul destroying. At the time, they were extremely heavy, never on time and sometimes lasting up to ten days.

"Luckily for me, listening to my body meant that I was diagnosed with stage 1 cervical cancer, it was treatable, I didn’t have to have any chemotherapy and after two small procedures, I got the all-clear just three months later.

"My advice to anyone reading this is know the red flags and talk about them loudly and proudly with anyone and everyone. Normalising these conversations is a matter of life and death, so let’s keep banging the drum.”

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