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26/10/2021

New one-stop-shop to support cervical cancer patients in Donegal and across Ireland

The platform supports patients and families at every stage of diagnosis and treatment

New one-stop-shop to support cervical cancer patients in Donegal and across Ireland

The platform has a wealth of resources for cervical cancer patients

A new first-of-its-kind platform for Ireland providing relevant, reliable and evidence-based information for people affected by cervical cancer has been launched.

ThisIsGo.ie platform offers a one-stop-shop for helpful resources and advice on cervical cancer. It includes more than 130 different articles, videos and audio content covering every stage of cancer diagnosis, treatment, and life with and after cancer.

Gynaecological Oncologist Prof Donal Brennan, whose team developed the platform, said: “Over the last three years Irish people have become aware of the terrible impact a cervical cancer diagnosis can have on women and their families. We hope that ThisIsGo.ie will provide a safe and accurate repository of information that will empower women with cervical cancer to understand the disease and complications associated with treatment.

“This platform provides a very necessary resource for women who often struggle to access all the supports they need during what can be short and intermittent hospital visits. By taking a holistic approach it provides access to information on a wide range of subjects ranging from cancer diagnosis and treatment to emotional and physical wellbeing, practical and financial advice as well as dealing with long term side-effects of treatment such as lymphoedema, bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunction.”

The platform has been co-developed by the Irish Cancer Society through its Women’s Health Initiative and support researchers and clinicians in UCD. There has been close collaboration with women and families directly affected by cervical cancer, and supported by Pfizer.

ThisIsGo.ie offers a personalised experience tailored to the stage and needs of individual users, including a specific section for partners of women who have or have had cervical cancer.

It contains evidence-based information on everything from the stages of cervical cancer and a step-by-step guide for what to expect from treatment, to important parts of the journey that may often be overlooked including simple tips on preparing for hospital, and talking to children about cancer.

Anne Nally-Keenan who was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2012 and contributed to the development of ThisIsGo.ie said: “Advances in cancer treatment are greatly increasing survival rates for patients. ThisIsGo.ie will focus on the patient, empowering the women as well as offering support to the wider family.

“As a cervical cancer survivor, I understand many cancer treatments come at the price of devastating and often lifelong physical and mental side effects. ThisIsGo.ie provides medical-based information within individual care plans with the aim to improve the health and wellbeing of women.”

The launch of ThisIsGo.ie coincided with the recent World GO Day which is held to highlight gynaecological cancers. Over 1,400 gynaecological cancers are diagnosed in Ireland annually (NCRI 2020 Annual Report), representing over 12% of female cancers. This year's message for World GO Day is simple: Information is power, but communication is the solution!

Professor Murat Gultekin who is the co-Chair of the European Network of Gynaecological Cancer Advocacy Groups (ENGAGe) said: “Awareness is important because an early diagnosis is key for good treatment of gynaecological cancers. 

“We want people to know that having a regular check-up with your gynaecologist should  be a priority. But also, ask the right questions. Be open in communication with your doctor.”

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