Image courtesy of Kath Bebbington

Our new stats show that rising levels of obesity have contributed to a worrying rise in womb cancer cases. The numbers hit the news this morning – including the BBC and the Guardian

Below, Kath Bebbington from Stoneclough, Greater Manchester shares her story of getting healthy and losing weight after being diagnosed and treated for womb cancer. She wants to be a role model for her children – and hopes she can encourage other women to do the same.  

When you hear the word cancer your mind runs riot and I was thinking: ‘Am I going to live to see my grandchildren grow up?’ I felt sick as I didn’t know what was going on. It was as though I was in a dream.

Back in November 2013 I’d been experiencing blood loss at different times and I just put it down to menopause because, at 55, I was well into it. My daughter urged me to go and get it checked, as I’d missed my smear test earlier that year.

I continued to work through a very busy period at work as an experienced bra fitter at Debenhams Trafford, which I love. But just before Christmas I had quite a heavy bleed and knew I had to make an appointment with the doctors.

So in January 2014, I went to my GP and was examined by a lovely doctor at my surgery who referred me to Royal Bolton Hospital where I had various tests, including a biopsy. It was after the biopsy where I saw my consultant for the first time, who told me I had womb cancer.

I was devastated when I found out and cried with my husband holding my hand. He held it together thank god. We were then taken in another room to find out what would happen next.

‘I didn’t need radiotherapy or chemotherapy so I was very lucky.’

My cancer was diagnosed at the earliest stage, which was good news. I had surgery, which included removing my ovaries and cervix.

Thankfully my operation removed all my cancer and I didn’t need radiotherapy or chemotherapy – so I was very lucky. I will be having six monthly check-ups for another three years and after five years I hope to be classed as cancer free.

When I was diagnosed, I questioned myself: ‘Why me?’ I didn’t drink or smoke. And then I thought: ‘Why not me?’ Cancer doesn’t pick and choose who it wants.

It was my life’s challenge, and with my husband and family we got through it. When I hit my five years cancer free, it will be a great feeling for all of us.

‘It’s worrying to see that womb cancer rates are on the rise’

 

After finishing my treatment I wanted to make some changes. We don’t know what caused my cancer, but I have to admit that I was carrying a few extra pounds. So now I exercise and eat better to be healthier. I also wanted to be a role model for my family.

I’m doing Race for life again this year to help give something back to Cancer Research UK for all the help I received.

The atmosphere at Race for Life with lots of ladies together is always fantastic. I felt glad to be a part of it.

Reading some of the words on people’s backs about why they were running brought it all back to me about how important this is. My daughter’s notes said: “Running for our Mum who beat womb cancer”!

It’s worrying to see that womb cancer rates are on the rise, and although weight isn’t the only risk factor, I want to encourage other women to live healthily so that fewer women go through what I went through.

I hope that my story helps others make a change in their life.