Ovarian Cancer awareness campaigner, Una Crudden outside Belfast City Hall on Wednesday, February 19th.        Picture: Conor Greenan
Ovarian Cancer awareness campaigner, Una Crudden outside Belfast City Hall on Wednesday, February 19th. Picture: Conor Greenan

MONDAY is the official end of Winter, but don’t be saying goodbye to the blues just yet.

Local woman, Una Crudden is asking you all to wear something teal coloured to kick-start Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.

Barry M nails

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Sabina make up addcit

The great Northern Irish public is being asked to flood their social media pages with teal themed selfies using the hashtag #TealTakeOver.

The best selfie will win a £50 voucher donated by – the little ripper that is @UluruArmagh. 

teal baby from Etsy

teal peacock pooch

The selfie competition will be judged by lawyer and local fashion blogger Louise Vance.

Even if you’re the shy type – put something teal on your baby or pet and upload a pic – it would be criminal not to.

Supporter, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has promised to don his famous teal tie.

The Great Hall in Stormont will be dressed for the occasion and we’ve even got Belfast City Council getting in on the act.

Complementing the big dome of delight, Belfast City Hall will be showing off its fancy lights for this one off occasion.

For the past two years Una has been lobbying Stormont on our behalf.

Her relentless campaigning will come to a head on Monday as she presents her case and petition to the Health Minister.

You can sign the petition here.

Your name doesn’t have to appear public, if you don’t want it to.

You don’t need to have ovaries either – men are very welcome to sign.

As proved by a study, 97% of NI women are unaware of the symptoms of ovarian cancer and  many of us – like Una will die from this deadly disease.

In my own ignorance, I assumed I was checked for ovarian cancer during a routine smear – but it’s not.  Smear tests only check for cervical abnormalities. 

Ovarian cancer goes undetected until it’s too late because there is no mandatory screening process in Northern Ireland.

Women’s health here is still a taboo subject and it has to be acknowledged. 

We have Public Health Agency sponsored TV and radio campaigns for testicular and colon cancer – but none for female reproductive health.

The only way to find out if you have ovarian cancer is by a C125 blood test, carried out in your GP surgery. 

This will likely be followed up by an intrusive personal examination as an outpatient- but it’s better to get it out of the way.

symptoms

If you suffer from any of these four symptoms – make an appointment with your doctor.  If they tell you to go away or diagnose you with Irritable Bowel Syndrome  – demand the C125 test.  It’s free on the NHS.  You are entitled to it.

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