There are 5 types of gynecological cancers – cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulval cancers.
1 New Zealander dies every 24 hours of gynecological cancer that beats both our road toll and melanoma rates but has not been published and overlooked for far too long.
Is it shame and stigma about women’s gynecological health that got us to this point? Silence harms our communities, it kills our wahins, our life carriers.
The five-year survival rate for ovarian cancer in New Zealand is 37%. There is a 70% chance of recurrence after treatment, and ovarian cancer survival statistics have been practically unchanged for 30 years. This is literally a crisis point in terms of improving cancer survival rates.
Breast cancer used to have a similar perspective, but thanks to incredible advocacy, extensive fundraising, and an immense amount of research, the 10-year breast cancer survival rate is 75% when a lump is the first sign, or 92% when it is regularly detected by mammograms .
New Zealand is lagging behind both the US and Australia in terms of survival. The Australian federal government announced the first substantial funding grant specifically for ovarian cancer in late 2019 – $ 20 million for research focusing on early detection.
85% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are diagnosed in the later stages of the disease, this statistic is heartbreaking.
A cervical screening test will NOT detect 4 of the 5 gynecological cancers, it is imperative that people are educated about the signs and symptoms and feel confident in advocating for themselves. We need to talk, we need our community that knows what to look for and how to stand up for itself, we need to educate and end stigma.
We can now have frank conversations about breasts, men’s rugby teams are wearing pink, the stigma is gone and that is needed for the pink parts below too! After all, we need funds to support the diagnosed patient; Diagnosing gynecological cancer is a time of isolation, there are no large companies supporting this important health area.
Talk Peach is founded and run by ovarian cancer survivors. We know all too well the havoc this diagnosis brings and the heartbreaking feeling of being overlooked.
We are desperate to educate to overcome the stigma that is stopping life-saving conversations. This is a national issue, it’s about justice, it’s about our wahine, it’s about feminism. Tomorrow we will lose another mother, aunt, sister, daughter, grandma, wife to gynecological cancer.
September is the month of Gynecological Cancer Awareness, this has slipped by noiselessly for years, stigma plays a role, as does the fact that we don’t have the army of survivors to fit out on the streets and raise funds, to put it bluntly, us it’s all dying. Women don’t live with ovarian cancer long enough to form the army of advocates our breast cancer whanau did so amazingly.
We urgently need a Gynecological Cancer Month to be as brave as other cancer education months.
“In 10 years I don’t want to see that nothing has changed EVERY day breaking my heart to receive messages from people who need support and feel like they have cancer and nobody cares or is too scared to talk about. ”- Tash Crosby Founder
It’s time to talk about ovaries, it’s time to talk about vulvas, cervix, uterus, and vagina
We ask for your support in this gynecological cancer month. Please donate via our education website www.talkpeach.org.nz or our Give-A-Little at https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/september-gynaecological-cancer-awareness-month
Introducing: Talk Peach – A local initiative that saves kiwis lives
Tash Crosby has something important to say. Something that came from a difficult personal experience. Ovarian Cancer Survival has seriously worried her about the lack of public knowledge of the five major gynecological cancers – a group of diseases that cost a New Zealand woman the life, on average, every 48 hours. She’s decided to do something about it, and it’s called Talk Peach: an initiative to raise awareness, educate the public and health workers about these deadly diseases about cervical, ovarian, vulvar, vaginal and uterine cancers, and Empowering women to take responsibility for their gynecological treatments.
“I’m doing this because I was one of the lucky ones,” says Tash. “I was one of 15 percent of women in New Zealand caught in the first stage of ovarian cancer – 85% in the later stages, when the chances of survival are extremely slim. It worries me that most people believe their three-year cervical swab will keep them safe when in reality it only tests for one of the five gynecological cancers. There is no screening tool for the other four, you MUST know the signs and act on them.
As with many women with ovarian cancer, diagnosing Tash was not easy and it took her perseverance to be taken seriously. When the medics realized what it was, the treatment was quick and exhausting, including two surgeries and six months of chemotherapy. It got pretty lonely at times, so she started doing research and building a community of other sufferers around the world to help her get through this. Once she recovered, she vowed to start an organization and website with all the information and support she could have wished for at the time.
A lot has happened in Talk Peach’s 2 years, they are now wearing the Pulse Netball team uniform, have a soon-to-be-announced collaboration with a leading menstrual brand, have spoken to the government several times, educated the public and DHBs nationwide, they support everyone , who are diagnosed nationally by funding meals and physical therapy, advocate better ways to diagnose, access clinical trials, and fund research, and have spoken out loud and clear in favor of breaking stigma and engaging in life-saving gynecological health conversations open.
We think it’s time the public got behind it: it’s time to SPEAK PEACH!
© Scoop Media