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Clinical nurse specialist Steph Campbell-Wilson with delegates from the Waikato gynaecological training day.

Every day a woman in New Zealand dies from some form of gynaecological cancer, yet despite these statistics awareness and early diagnosis still remain difficult.

According to research from New Zealand Gynaecological Cancer Foundation ovarian cancer is the fourth biggest killer of women in New Zealand with approximately 310 new cases per year, and 200 deaths.

This month Waikato Hospital has taken the opportunity to join the foundation’s awareness month by adopting the motto “Learn, Listen, Act”.

Over 70 women’s health nurses from Midland’s district health boards attended a forum to learn about how they can better identify, treat and care for woman suffering with gynaecological cancers.

Waikato DHB clinical nurse specialist Steph Campbell-Wilson said the service wanted to design this forum so professionals could hear from many perspectives.

The day included sessions from patient perspectives, access to surgery, treatment, psychology and sexuality.

“Sexuality has traditionally been a topic which causes a lot of embarrassment for both the health care professional and patient, but research tells us more than 80 per cent of women recovering from gynaecological cancers struggle with this,” she said.

“It is a really easy area for us to improve on and we know that it will make a difference to our patients.”

The day was one of several events that will be held across the country this month, including the foundation’s penultimate “Getting Glamorous for Gynae” tomorrow night, which is a fashion show and charity auction, held at The Langham, in Auckland.

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