September is Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month and Martin Whitfield MSP is supporting The Eve Appeal‘s efforts to raise awareness throughout the month.

The charity’s YouGov survey conducted ahead of the month found that only one in five people know about the link between womb cancer and oestrogen and less than a third are aware of its link with ovarian cancer.

Oestrogen is one of the main female sex hormones and plays an important role in puberty, menstruation and pregnancy. Levels fluctuate through the monthly cycle and fall as we go through the menopause. It helps grow cells in the womb (uterine/endometrial) lining each month, to replace what was lost during the last period and create the right environment for a fertilised egg to implant.

If there is excess oestrogen, it can cause the cells to grow uncontrollably: during the increased division and growth of cells, mutations can occur. This means that the cells have changed in an abnormal way and become precancerous or eventually develop into cancer if left untreated.

The charity’s survey also found a lack of knowledge about where our hormones are produced in the body, with over a third of people not knowing where oestrogen is made, and just over 40% aware that oestrogen is produced in the ovaries. Only 3% of people were aware that some oestrogen (although small levels) is produced in fat cells, which is why obesity increases the risk of womb cancer.

All through September The Eve Appeal will be sharing key information on hormones and their impact on cancer risk on our social media channels in its #HormoneDownload.

Martin Whitfield MSP said: 

“I’m always eager to support the important work of The Eve Appeal and other charities working hard to raise public awareness of Ovarian and other gynaecological cancers.

“September is the opportunity to really put the spotlight on these cancers and the charity’s survey shows how little understanding there is currently about some of the important aspects of this issue.

“I’m pleased to help highlight these matters and would encourage anyone seeking further information to sign up to receive The Eve Appeal’s hormone and cancer risk information straight into their inbox.”

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