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60% of Irish women unaware of signs or symptoms of Uterine cancer 
Tuesday, 20th September 2022 - RTÉ Broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan with ( l to r ) Eibhlin Mulroe, CEO, Cancer Trials Ireland, Juliette Casey, Emer Casey Foundation and a member of the INGO, Dr Sharon O’Toole, Senior Research Fellow in Trinity College Dublin, and Coordinator of the World GO Day campaign at INGO and Rachel Morrogh, Director of Advocacy, Irish Cancer Society
 leads a group swim at Seapoint, Dublin to encourage women to Dip or Dance this World GO Day and raise awareness of gynaecological cancers with 30 swims taking place across Ireland.  The Irish Network for Gynaecological Oncology (INGO) is raising awareness of how to reduce the risk of uterine cancer and the importance of acting on potential early signs or symptoms and has developed the World GO Day ‘Dip or Dance’ campaign to remind women to maintain a healthier weight and stay active to reduce the risk of developing Uterine Cancer.

World GO Day 2022 – Dip or Dance?

World Gynaecological Oncology Day was on 20th September 2022 and women across Ireland marked the day by taking part in a Dip or Dance Challenge.  This World GO Day focused on reducing the risk of uterine cancer.  The Irish Network for Gynaecological Oncology (INGO), of which the Foundation is an active member, highlighted the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight and being physically active to reduce uterine cancer risk.  Women across Ireland took to the waters with 30 sea swims arranged, while others strutted their dance moves to a dance routine put together by choreographer, Jane Shortall.

All this activity served to promote the World GO Day message of being uterine cancer symptom aware.  In a new survey commissioned by the INGO and carried out by iReach – 

  • three in five women in Ireland cannot name any of the signs or symptoms of uterine cancer
  • one in four women are not aware of uterine cancer at all
  • three in ten women do not make the link between being a healthy weight and reducing the risk of uterine cancer
  • one in three women do not make the link between being physically active and reducing the risk of uterine cancer

The Foundation was delighted to support this focus on uterine cancer on World GO Day.  While our work has shone the spotlight on the difficult disease of ovarian cancer, Emer’s primary diagnosis was uterine cancer and this is the most common gynaecological cancer in Ireland and the fifth most common cancer in women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer).  Symptoms for uterine cancer include abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge and pelvic pressure or pain.  Risk factors include –

  • being older than 50
  • being overwieght/obese
  • taking estrogen by itself (without progesterone) for hormone replacement during menopause
  • having trouble getting pregnant or having fewer than five periods in a year before starting menopause
  • taking tamoxifen, a drug used to prevent and treat certain types of breast cancer
  • having a close family member who have had uterine, colon or ovarian cancer

The Dip or Dance Challenge shines the spotlight on reducing the risk of uterine cancer by beng active and maintaining a healthy body weight.  A 5-10% weight reduction can reduce the chances of uterine cancer and the recurrence of the disease.

It was a pleasure to work with the Irish Network for Gynaecological Oncoogy on this campaign.  The INGO is a voluntary body and consists of thirty of Ireland’s foremost gynae cancer campaigners, researchers, medics and patient advocates.   The aim of the group is to raise awareness of the five gynaecological cancers – cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulvar – across the island of Ireland.  The group participates in two major international events annually – World Ovarian Cancer Day, 8th May and World GO Day, September 20th.

We brought World GO Day to a close with a wonderful array of buildings lighting up in purple to mark the day.  These photos of Cork’s Daly’s Bridge (Shakey Bridge) are particularly striking!