Reducing the impact of womb cancer in north east London

North East London Cancer Alliance is making progress on changing the outcome of womb cancer for local women, through a unique, dedicated campaign which has been running throughout this year.

In north east London in 2018, Black and Asian women were proportionally more likely to be diagnosed with womb cancer at a late stage (known as stage 4) rather than early (stage 1).

At this late state, womb cancer is more advanced and it is more difficult to treat.

Our ‘You Need to Know’ campaign, in partnership with leading charity, The Eve Appeal, is changing this.

Alex Lawrence, Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist, Barts Health NHS Trust, explains: “The focus of the campaign is to raise awareness of the main symptom of womb cancer, which is bleeding after the menopause. If you do have this symptom, you should contact your doctor immediately.

“It’s unlikely to be anything serious. If we do find cancer, then the earlier it’s treated, the more successful treatment is. If found early, womb cancer is very treatable. 90% of women who are diagnosed early, at Stage 1, survive the disease.”

What does the campaign involve?

The campaign launched on the 31 January this year and, as well as videos and social media advertising, has included dedicated focus groups across north east London.

We have hosted 10 in total, reaching 227 local people with key information about womb cancer, helping to answer questions, dispel myths and change minds.

The first session took place on 23 February 2023 at Women’s Inclusive Team, a Somali community centre in Bethnal Green. Since then, as well as hosting a couple of online sessions with Community African Network and The Association of Redbridge Caribbean Communities, we have also visited:

  • Waltham Forest Women’s Network menopause café, Leyton
  • Hackney Caribbean Elderly Organisation, Hackney
  • City of Faith Ministry, Barking
  • Leaders in Community charity, Tower Hamlets
  • Sangam Surgery, Newham
  • Waltham Forest Community Hub, Waltham Forest
  • Green Street Library, Newham
What has the impact been?

Harjeet Dhanota, Project Officer for North East London Cancer Alliance, said “The response to this outreach activity has been very positive, as has the overall level of engagement. Our facilitator, Karen Hobbs from the Eve Appeal, delivered this wave of activity using her extensive knowledge of gynaecological cancer and issues surrounding women’s health and options available to them. 

“Her friendly, honest and approachable manner helped to quickly gain the trust and confidence of attendees, regardless of age, gender and ethnicity.”

Attendees were asked what key messages they took away from the session.  Some of the responses are below:

  • Be aware of changing symptoms and if they persist, make an appointment with my doctor
  • To have myself checked by my GP if I suspect any changes in my body especially with regards to abnormal discharge
  • Take note of what is normal for me.  Don’t hesitate to consult my GP
  • To communicate without embarrassment.  The speaker was great with humour on speaking about the subject
  • That we should go for regular check-ups and never neglect symptoms and never miss your appointments
  • There are different types of cancer
  • Heavy or abnormal bleeding after the menopause should be reported to our GP
More information

To find out more about womb cancer, visit our You Need to Know webpage.

Watch our video message and also hear from one of our nurses about womb cancer.