Female Cancers – Know the Signs

We know that cancer referrals have fallen dramatically in Wales since the beginning of lockdown in March. While many people will have been reluctant to seek medical advice during the pandemic, as we emerge from lockdown it is important to speak to your GP if you have concerns about your health.

Female cancers, particularly breast cancer, are some of the most treatable cancers but it is important to be aware of the symptoms and contact your GP for advice. They will then be able to initiate investigations and a referral for further assessments if required.

The three most common female cancers are breast, cervical and ovarian cancers. Some of the main symptoms include:

Breast Cancer

  • A lump or thickening in your breast or underarm
  • Dimpling of the skin
  • Nipple discharge (other than breast milk)
  • Pulling in of the nipple

Cervical Cancer

  • Bleeding between periods
  • Pain or discomfort during sex
  • Heavier menstrual bleeding that lasts longer than usual
  • Persistent pelvic or back pain

Ovarian Cancer

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Urge to urinate more frequently
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area

While many cancer screening services have now resumed, there is a backlog of patients to see from the last three months. If you are at all concerned and feel that you have any of the above symptoms, then contact your GP rather than waiting for your screening letter.