A new support group specifically for women who currently have or have previously suffered from gynaecological cancer is being launched in North Lincolnshire.
It is for anyone who has been affected by cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulvar cancer.
Margaret Tong, a cancer survivor who has battled ovarian cancer three times in the last ten years is in full support of the group.
Scawby Brook local Margaret said: “I was diagnosed in 2002 and I wish there had been a support group around then. It is the simple things that can make all of the difference in how you feel about and face your illness.
“While I was going through treatment the first time, everyone seemed happy with how it was going. They all kept talking positively about blood counts and tumour markers but it was all a complete mystery to me. Over the years I have found you learn a lot from talking to other patients.
“I always say the most frightening part is when you have had your treatment and you are told to go away and they will see you in so many weeks. It is so isolating and scary.”
Mrs Tong believes that the new group will open new avenues of support for thise who are suffering with gynaecological cancer.
She said: “It is about being able to chat to someone about how to cope when you lose your hair, do you go for a scarf or a wig? and what to do if, like me, you get a nasty rash from your wig. It does you good to see other people who have survived.
“Having cancer is not about being brave or inspirational, it is about dealing with it the best way you can and focusing on how you can get through your treatment and look to the future again.”
Sharon Prudhoe, Northern Lincolnshire NHS Foundation Trust’s Clinical Nurse Specialist in Gynaecology Oncology, said: “At Scunthorpe hospital we see women from across North Lincolnshire with any one of the five gynaecological cancers.
“Even though these cancers are quite different from one another, the effects emotionally, financially, and within family relationships and friendships, can be quite similar.
“The new group aims to provide a warm and caring environment where members can share their experiences and support one another.”
Sharon commented that even with the support of a partner or close family, it is sometimes good for women to talk with others who understand their experience first hand.
“As well as fantastic friendly support, lots of information and advice will be available.”
The Gynaecological Cancer Support Group will start on Monday, April 16, at 7pm, at the Robert Holme Hall.
For more information, call Sharon Prudhoe on 01724 282282.