This blog post is sponsored by Eisai Inc.
I struggled for years with excruciatingly painful periods. It wasn’t until after my hysterectomy that I learned I had a family history of gynecologic health issues. Both my mom and aunt had the same struggle but never shared that with me. It made me wonder why the women in my family and families like mine aren’t talking about these ”below the belt” issues. Now I make it my mission to get rid of the stigma and end the silence around women’s health issues. In that spirit, I’ve partnered with Eisai and the Spot Her campaign to help bring awareness to endometrial cancer (EC), one of the most common yet under-recognized uterine cancers in women.
Sadly, endometrial cancer is on the rise and we need to do all we can to protect ourselves and the women we love. I invite you ladies to join me in the pledge with #SpotHerForEC to raise our voices and bring awareness to this potentially deadly cancer. Darlings, it’s time to start talking and sharing! Speak to your daughters, mothers, friends, family, and co-workers about the signs of endometrial cancer. Help them be on the lookout for signs and encourage your loved ones to be an advocate for their health.
What is Spot Her?
Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE), SHARE Cancer Support (SHARE), Black Health Matters (BHM) and Eisai partnered to launch Spot Her—an initiative to help end the silence around endometrial cancer and inspire women to listen, to advocate, and to put her health first.
To put the spotlight on endometrial cancer, the Spot Her campaign is using a fanny pack as an awareness symbol for this disease. You can help raise awareness or show your support by sharing a photo wearing the fanny pack or using a digital version (which can be found on SpotHerforEC.com). Share your photo on social media and tag women in your lives who you pledge to spot. Join in on the conversation by using the hashtag #SpotHerforEC. For every use of the hashtag Eisai will donate $1 per post to @facingourrisk and @sharecancersupport (up to $20k)!
Know the Common Signs of Endometrial Cancer
The signs of endometrial cancer can often be dismissed and mistaken for other conditions. Some of the common signs include but are not limited to:
- Abnormal bleeding or spotting
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Brownish discharge post-menopause
- Irregular or heavy periods pre-menopause
Like many conditions, endometrial cancer is most treatable when it’s caught early. Only 53% of black women with EC are diagnosed in the early stages. Even more alarming, “the overall 5-year survival rate in the U.S. for uterine cancers is 62% in Black women compared to 84% in white women.” The best way to be an advocate for your health is to know the signs, learn your family history, track and document any symptoms, and talk to your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms.
Common Risk Factors for Endometrial Cancer
The number of women between the ages of 20 to 49 being diagnosed with endometrial cancer are on the rise when fertility may be a concern.
Women who have had breast cancer, ovarian cancer or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) may have an increased risk too. Some studies have shown that the risk for women with PCOS to be almost 3x higher than women without PCOS.
It is important that women are aware of the factors that may increase their risk of developing endometrial cancer such as:
- Age – risk increases with age
- Family history with uterine cancer
- High-fat diet and lack of exercise
- History of irregular periods
Spread the Word
There’s nothing more powerful than women working together for an important cause. We can all make a difference to help bring awareness to endometrial cancer and potentially help save lives. Join in our pledge to #SpotHerForEC. For the women we love. For the women we are. Visit SpotHerForEC.com for information on endometrial cancer and on the important cause.