On World Gynaecologic Oncology Day and in the midst of a global pandemic, Ireland’s foremost Gynaecological Cancer Campaigners, Researchers and Patient Advocates are advising women across Ireland not to ignore the warning signs of Gynaecological Cancers and to prevent those cancers where a vaccination is available
World Go Day is an annual awareness day dedicated to elevating public understanding of gynaecological cancers and highlighting the risk factors, symptoms, early detection and prevention strategies related to the main types of gynaecological cancers that impact women: cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar. Over 1400 gynaecological cancers are diagnosed in Ireland annually (NCRI 2019 Annual Report), representing over 12% of female cancers.
Early diagnosis, prevention and treatment are vital and Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist and National Cancer Control Programme lead for women’s cancer, Dr. Michael O’Leary is advising that –
"It remains vitally important that women liaise with their health care providers if they have any concerns about their reproductive health. Early diagnosis of gynaecological cancers remains the best chance of successful treatment. The HPV vaccine can protect against some of these gynaecological cancers, so it is important for girls and boys in first year of secondary school to avail of this vaccine”
Dr. Sharon O’Toole, senior research fellow in Trinity College Dublin, working in the area of gynaecological cancer emphasises that –
“Knowing the symptoms of the gynaecological cancers can help with early diagnosis. We encourage women to become familiar with the “Inside Knowledge” leaflet below which highlights the symptoms associated with each gynaecological cancer. Please contact your GP if you have symptoms that persist for more than 2 weeks.”
Joanne Lepetit, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 28 and would advise all women to “know your body, if something doesn’t feel right get it checked, no matter how irrelevant you think it might be and push for tests”
World GO Day Events
To mark World Gynaecologic Oncology Day, the following buildings have generously agreed to ‘Light Up in Purple’, the colour associated all over the world with the fight against Gynaecological cancers – City Hall, Cork; The Convention Centre, Dublin; East Galway and Midlands Cancer Support Centre, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway; The Mansion House, Dublin; The National Concert Hall, Dublin; National University of Ireland, Galway; Pearse Lyons Distillery, Dublin; Rock of Cashel, Tipperary; Titanic Belfast and University College Cork.
World Go Day Awareness Activities
To mark World GO Awareness Day, on September 20th an international digital and social media campaign to drive women to engage with and share gynaecological cancers information will take place.
Additionally, pictures, and messages will be shared online using the hashtag #WorldGODay, to create a global conversation on Gynaecologic Cancers, as well as on the official World Go Day website at www.worldgoday.org.
Joining the global movement on Sept 20th from Ireland are; Breakthrough Cancer Research, Cancer Trials Ireland, CERVIVA, Circle of Friends Cancer Support Centre, East Galway and Midlands Cancer Support Centre, Emer Casey Foundation, Irish Cancer Society, Irish Society of Gynaecological Oncology, Karen Fenton Ovarian Cancer Fund, Lynch Syndrome Ireland, Marie Keating Foundation, National Cancer Control Programme, National Immunisation Office, OvaCare, Sláinte an Chláir, SOCK, St. James’s Hospital Foundation (GynaeCancerCare), Trinity College Dublin and 221+ CervicalCheck Patient Support Group.
The Irish organisations are delighted to join the international initiative of ESGO-ENGAGe (European Society of Gynaecological Oncology (ESGO) and the European Network of Gynaecological Cancer Advocacy Groups (ENGAGe)) to raise awareness for gynaecologic cancers and calls women in Ireland to GOfor action now to impact the future – a world without gynaecologic cancers.