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Expert shares three-pronged approach to break down the stigma around gynaecological cancers

The term “cancer” evokes feelings of anxiety, fear, and disbelief upon diagnosis. Gynaecological cancer generates a similar emotional response and is ensnared in misconceptions and shame, leading to challenges in early detection. Women often overlook the signs of gynaecological cancers due to prevailing myths surrounding them. The pervasive stigma surrounding cancer, coupled with cultural misconceptions regarding women’s reproductive health, compounds the difficulty in dispelling the misconceptions linked to gynaecological cancer.

Clinical Nutritionist Piu Chatterjee from CARER emphasized that gynaecological cancers impact female reproductive organs such as the ovaries and uterus. Despite its prevalence, these cancers remain largely unspoken due to feelings of embarrassment and fear. Common symptoms of gynaecological cancers include abnormal vaginal discharge, itching, blood clots in urine and stools, swelling, and unusual bleeding.

Chatterjee underscored the importance of addressing the stigma surrounding gynaecological cancer for early detection and effective treatment. Dismantling myths and normalizing conversations about reproductive health is essential to empower women to recognize symptoms without shame. Open dialogues facilitate timely intervention and improved outcomes in the battle against gynaecological cancer.

Breaking the stigma hinges on promoting awareness and education. Chatterjee believes that education plays a pivotal role in dispelling myths and driving change. Equipping women with accurate information empowers them to identify symptoms and seek timely assistance. Fostering safe spaces for discussing experiences and reproductive health within society contributes to building awareness.

Workshops in schools and healthcare centers focused on reproductive health can significantly enhance awareness of gynaecological cancers and associated symptoms.

Chatterjee also emphasized the role of nutrition in preventing and managing gynaecological cancers. A balanced diet comprising grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables can bolster the immune system, reduce inflammation, and enhance the patient’s overall well-being. Nonetheless, early detection remains paramount in any treatment approach.

Encouraging regular screening remains essential for better patient outcomes. A healthy lifestyle before, during, and after treatment assists in managing treatment side effects and supports the body’s healing process.

Creating a supportive environment for cancer patients, including support groups and online counseling services, provides psychological assistance for women grappling with gynaecological cancers. These resources address emotional needs and provide nutritional guidance for patients and their families, aiding informed dietary choices and facilitating improved recovery.

Inclusivity in language usage is another crucial tool for destigmatization, offering a comprehensive understanding of cancer’s impact on patients. Collaborative efforts involving media outlets, advocacy groups, and healthcare professionals significantly contribute to addressing the stigma around gynaecological cancers, according to Chatterjee.

To effectively address the stigma around gynaecological cancer, Chatterjee advocates a comprehensive three-pronged approach: raising awareness, providing education, and fostering empathy. This approach creates an environment empowering women to prioritize their reproductive health, ensuring timely addressing of gynaecological cancer. Such an approach is vital for optimal care and improved outcomes.


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