Who are the Eve Appeal?
The Eve Appeal are the leading UK national charity funding research and raising awareness into the five gynaecological cancers – womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal!
What made you want to support the Eve Appeal?
Much like shaving, gynaecological cancer is a taboo topic. Whether it’s talk around shaving faces, toes, or even vulva's there is a level of shame surrounding women's bodies. Along with the Eve Appeal, we want to smash down them taboos and the shame that surrounds us, it’s important women know their body parts and how to talk about them with their Doctors, peers and friends without embarrassment, that’s how we will help to gain early diagnosis.
What are the key symptoms to look out for?
- abnormal vaginal bleeding (between periods, after sex, after the menopause or much heavier than is normal for you)
- persistent bloating (for 3 weeks or more that doesn’t come and go)
- changes to bowel habits (feeling full quickly or nauseous)
- changes to discharge (if it has a foul smell, or is ‘bloody’, that is pink, red, or brown)
- a persistent vulval or vaginal itch and any changes to the look or feel of the vulva and vagina (a lump, an open sore, or thickened and raised, lighter or darker patches of skin).
Have you had a cervical screening test before? How did you find it?
I have and do attend my regular cervical screening tests; in fact, I am due one this year and have just called to make my appointment. I am a natural worrier so for me I’d rather get checked regularly than overthink and let my mind tell me the worst. The first one is daunting but you need to remember the nurse does this every day, she is not judging you, she is simply doing a job. I have never had a bad experience, the nurses know it’s an uncomfortable experience and do their best to put you at ease.
Were you told about the importance of checking your breasts/chest for lumps? Were you also told the importance of checking your genitals?
Sadly, I have never had this conversation in my teens and even in my twenties. The first open conversation I recall about this is with work colleagues. A colleague had a scare with a lump found on her breast (fortunately all clear). We were discussing openly in the office how important it is to check yourself and there was only one male member of them team who proudly proclaimed how regularly he checks his genitals after a family member suffering from testicular cancer. And rightly so. This got the females of the group talking about ovarian cancer but there were no mentions of the 4 other types or if and how they check themselves. If you ask around your female friends, it is surprising how few know there are 5 types of gynae cancer and even more surprising how many do not know the difference between a vulva and vagina. I think a lot of good work has been done to raise awareness of self-checking your breast but there is still more to be done for gynae cancer that’s why working with The Eve Appeal is so important.
How are FFS helping?
We’re joining the conversation around gynaecological cancer and spreading the message wherever we can. Plus, 10% of every first box sale will go towards supporting the charity during May. This will help fund world class research into gynaecological cancers which sadly effects over 21,000 women in the UK every year. Get your box here
What advice would you like to give to everyone?
It’s important we all start a conversation with our nearest and dearest about any changes we may experience with our bodies and urge ourselves to get checked. The FFS team and I will also be joining in on the Get Lippy Day, Friday 13th May – we’re sending a lipstick mirror message across all of our social channels to raise awareness of the Gynae cancers to the people we love using #GetLippy and tagging @eveappeal, you can do this too! Tag 5 friends and let’s spread the message even further together
Want to know more about The Eve Appeal visit their website for useful resources, advice and tools