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New podcast series launched on gynaecological cancers, which represent 12% of all female cancers

By Irish Pharmacist - 01st Feb 2024

A new podcast series has been launched by The Irish Society of Gynaecological Oncology (ISGO) as a valuable resource for patients undergoing treatment for gynaecological cancers.

Hosted by GP Dr Doireann O’Leary, and sponsored by Breakthrough Cancer Research, the podcast series Dr Doireann’s Podcast shares the stories and first-hand experiences of people who have had a cancer diagnosis. They are joined by healthcare professionals, who provide expert advice, and the podcasts also delve into cutting-edge research and advancements, which aim to improve survival and treatment options.

Episodes include topics focused on specific cancers like ovarian cancer (in particular PARP inhibition drugs), and gestational trophoblastic disease, to topics which bridge all cancer types including experience of palliative care services.

People share their stories of being diagnosed with a genetic cancer syndrome and what this has meant for them and their family as well as patient and public involvement in research. They also explore the psychological and psychosexual consequences of cancer treatment.

Dr Dearbhaile Collins said: “As President of ISGO, I am delighted to present our podcast series in collaboration with Dr Doireann O’Leary. Our vision is to deliver accurate information to the public from both specialists and patients themselves, to create easily understandable and accessible audios. We are delighted with the engagement from Irish experts in their fields, and the frank and insightful personal experiences from patients. ISGO looks forward to being involved in future podcasts in other areas of gynaecological cancer.”

Tamsin Finlay, one of the contributors on the podcast series, said: “This was a very empowering and therapeutic platform to air my journey of infertility with cancer and my resilience to a state of acceptance and happiness.”

Dr O’Leary said: “It’s a privilege to host the ISGO podcast. The patient voice is central to this series. I learned so much from the patient advocates who courageously shared their story and lived experience to help others. I also got to speak to the dedicated consultants who care for them. Their lifelong dedication to providing evidence-based care with empathy is inspiring.


‘This series is a must-listen for all women: we discuss gynaecological cancers; ‘red flag’ symptoms never to ignore; how to ‘speak up’ and advocate for yourself in the oftentimes overwhelming healthcare setting. We say the ‘unsaids’.’
Dr Doireann O’Leary, podcast host

“This series is a must-listen for all women: we discuss gynaecological cancers; ‘red flag’ symptoms never to ignore; how to ‘speak up’ and advocate for yourself in the oftentimes overwhelming healthcare setting. We say the ‘unsaids’. For me, having these conversations was educational, uplifting, and inspiring, and I know it will be for the listener too.”

Jenny Maginn told us: “I was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. A year of surgeries and treatments took my independence away and made me very reliant on family and friends. It was important to me after treatment to get back to as normal a life as possible. I wanted to feel valued and to be doing something worthwhile.

“The opportunity to create a podcast came at the right time. I was ready to be heard so that I could use my experience to help and give me a sense of purpose again. I feel empowered that I have found something I feel passionate about, that I can do and can feel valued for, while, most importantly, making a difference for those affected by cancer.”

In the Republic of Ireland, more than 1,400 gynaecological cancers are diagnosed annually, with 591 diagnosed annually in Northern Ireland, representing over 12 per cent of female cancers.

Symptoms of gynaecological cancer may include: abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge, feeling full too quickly, bloating or difficulty eating, pelvic pain or pressure, abdominal or back pain, a more frequent need to urinate, constipation, itching burning changes of vulva, and changes in vulval colour or skin. If you have been experiencing any of these, please visit your healthcare provider.

ISGO is an all-Ireland venture encompassing all gynaecological cancers which aims to advocate for patients through improvements in education, training, and research. Breakthrough Cancer Research is Ireland’s leading research charity for poor prognosis cancers and is committed to funding research to improve cancer care and outcomes. It supports research all over Ireland in gynaecological cancers.

To access the series, please visit Dr Doireann’s Podcast wherever you get your podcasts. For further information and support regarding gynaecological cancers please visit www.thisisgo.ie.

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