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Embarrassment kills, consultant warns women

By Victoria O'Hara

A senior consultant has urged women worried they may have symptoms of vulval cancer to forget about being embarrassed and go to their GP for a check-up.

Dr Hans Nagar, consultant gynaecological surgeon and oncologist, is one of five surgeons Belfast City Hospital who treat women from across Northern Ireland, including Julie Clarke.

Speaking during Awareness Month for the disease, he said: "It is rare. Around 30 to 35 women a year here develop it.

"They tend to be embarrassed about going to see anybody. Many may have been to see their GP or practice nurse once or twice and have found it difficult to tell them what is going on. Many people don't know where the vulva is. But most surgeries have female GPs and all have a practice nurse."

More than 1,170 women are diagnosed with vulva cancer each year in the UK, and the disease is more likely among the over-60s.

Women diagnosed with the condition gathered for the first Successful Wellbeing Conference in the Regional Cancer Centre on Wednesday. For information, visit

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