Get it checked

It’s been a while since I last posted; things have been a bit busy.  It seems appropriate that my first post back is from my wife.  It’s specifically about women’s health, but is just as valid for men.

I thought long and hard before making this post but decided that if it helped just one person on my friends list then it would be worth it.

In November 2013 I tootled along to my GP surgery for my routine smear test.  Within a week I had received a phone call from my doctor saying they had concerns over the results, although this was not connected with cervical abnormalities but other cells that had been picked up.  Within a week I’d been to the hospital for further tests and on 17th December was diagnosed with endometrial cancer.  Since then I’ve had surgery and radiotherapy.  Whilst it’s been pretty crap, I feel very fortunate that this was picked up early and has been dealt with so quickly.  I’ve had fantastic support from family, friends and my oncology team and feel very lucky.  My op went well and internal radiotherapy, although uncomfortable was fairly boring with not too many side effects.  The care and professionalism I’ve experienced from NHS staff at South Tyneside, Queen Elizabeth and the Freeman hospitals has been fantastic.  It’s made a difficult time so much easier to cope with.  So, thanks to those teams, I am well on the road to full recovery.

What I really want to stress is the importance of going for regular smear testing, as well as not putting off seeing your GP if you experience anything abnormal with your monthly cycle.

Endometrial or womb cancer is especially tricky to diagnose in younger women, as irregular periods can quite easily be brushed aside and forgotten about.  So please be vigilant and don’t be embarrassed to talk to your GP – it could literally save your life.

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