The power of speech to save lives
The Eve Appeal is the UK’s leading gynaecological cancer charity. Gynaecological cancer is the second biggest cancer killer of women in the UK. However it remains an under-funded and under-profiled cause.
The charity wanted to raise awareness amongst women about the importance of knowing their own bodies. They also wanted to let them know about changes which may be indicate gynaecological cancer. Another aim was to flag up how important it was for women to discuss and educate their daughters about gynaecological issues.
The overall objective of the research was to assess women’s understanding of gynaecological issues. How well-informed did they feel? Were they comfortable discussing such issues with their daughters?
More specifically the research aimed to:
- Explore a woman’s ability to correctly identify and name body parts
- Explore whether they’d been educated as children about female body parts and genealogical issues. If so, what language had been used?
- Consider whether mothers discussed reproductive, gynaecological and sexual health with their daughters and how comfortable they felt doing this
- Identify how many gynaecological cancers women could name
- Establish whether women could identify possible signs of gynaecological cancer
The project was conducted online with 1,000 women from sixteen upwards. The respondents were spread across England, Scotland and Wales. Three quarters of those sampled were mothers.
The survey was conducted online so sensitive questions could be answered in their own time and space. It was also the perfect environment for an on-screen anatomy quiz.
Our findings revealed fewer than one third of the women surveyed could correctly label six different parts of the female reproductive system. 14% could not name a single gynaecological cancer.
The research also showed that mothers across the UK are avoiding talking about important health issues with their daughters.
The Eve Appeal used the research during Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month (GCAM). The statistics helped to highlight the low knowledge among women of their gynaecological anatomy. In addition, the Eve Appeal ran a second #KnowYourBody campaign focusing on mothers and daughters. This stressed the need for mothers to educate their daughters about reproductive and gynaecological health.