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Vulva versus Vagina

 

Hello, I am a survivor of a radical vulvectomy due to vulva cancer 25 years ago and have lobbied since to make a difference. I had the removal of my clitoris vulva and groin lymph glands removed in a world that tends to call a vulva – outside genitalia a vagina internal genitalia. It’s like calling a penis as testicles. Now before you press the delete button I appeal to you to listen to more of the suffering in silence.

Last week I attended another woman who died of misdiagnosing of vulva cancer – Lynette Ellard who begged me to share the message for women and men to use correct terminology and to know of risks and symptoms of vulva cancer.  Along with approx. 2 million Australian women who have PCOS and Endo which my daughter had both of these conditions. I only found out she had this after my cancer. I felt isolated and ostracised by mostly women in my early days so I placed an advertisement in Women’s Day can we help you line.

The responses of women suffering in silence in the dark compelled me to establish an International GYN Awareness Day 10 September which King Edward Memorial Hospital for women Perth WA have celebrated for 7 years. I presented to 1000 women at Soroptimist International Convention July 2019 sharing my experience and vision.

PS – I am the recipient of 10 awards including Order of Australian and WA Senior Australian of Year 2018 and Cancer Australia for GYN Cancers to name a few. Yet I am still challenged to be heard and given a platform to speak. I walked straight up to front counter of BBC TV and was on Women’s Hour within a week. I am now on Women’s Involvement panel women’s voices at Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology London and would dearly love to have a voice here in Australia – however, some say my story is too graphic in meantime we watch women like Lynette pass away so that we don’t have to deal with the stigma of the vulva/Gynaecological health.

People call this campaign Reproductive as that is nice and about having babies this is not about having babies. I am really pleased to see Prof. John Newnham Australian Senior of the Year from WA who is an Obstetrician – having babies, I am hoping that I may be able to jump on his coat tails and bring forth issues such as Endometriosis, PCOS Fibroids, Prolapse, Vulval conditions, Menopause under one umbrella. Hoping RANZCOG will support more this year for the Gynae Day.  Please see more at www.kathmazzella.com

 

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

Dr Rosemary Coates WA 6151

[email protected]

Reference: Kathleen Mazzella OAM Gynaecological Awareness Advocate

Kath Mazzella has dedicated many years of her life advocating for greater recognition of women’s sexual and reproductive health needs. Her personal experiences as a survivor of gynecological cancer led Kath to recognize that women’s sexuality is poorly understood by many professionals, including those who specialize in women’s reproductive health. Her tireless efforts to improve the knowledge and attitudes of the medical profession on these issues have not been blunted by the affectations of superior knowledge.

She is the recipient of many awards and honours: 2018 WA Senior Australian of the Year 2018 Order of Australia Medal: Cancer Australia – Gynaecological Cancers: Senior of Year/ Beyond Blue Senior of Year WA 2012: Momentum Women’s Forum: WA Sexology Assoc. Life Member: Global Women Summit WA: Founder/Life member GAIN Inc.: Executive Women’s Forum: Community Champion Perth City: Zonta Intern. District 23: Inductee Women’s Hall of Fame Western Australia: Boston USA Our Bodies Ourselves Women’s Health Hero Hall of Fame: Short listed: Australian Centre Women Leadership

To take on a powerful professional body is not a painless nor easy task, Kath Mazzella’s indomitable courage in this regard is to be admired.  All women, particularly those who experience gynecological problems owe her a great deal. It is hoped that in the future the medical profession will benefit from the contribution made by Kath Mazzella and have a better understanding of women’s sexual health.

Through Kath’s persistence, both in Australia and overseas, the Gynaecological Awareness Information Network has become an important source of information and encouragement for thousands of women. She has also been successful in promoting an International Gynaecological Awareness Day. Her extraordinary, and often solo, efforts deserve public recognition.

Professionals from many walks of life achieve recognition for doing their job in an exemplary fashion. Kath Mazzella is not a professional person, she is, however, a fine example of an ordinary person undertaking extraordinary tasks. For her achievements through the personal qualities of courage, determination and persistence she is a very worthy nominee.  Immediate Past President, World Association for Sexual Health

http://www.kathmazzella.com/2019/09/international-gynaecological-awareness-day-celebration-progress/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBjJ5tXmlao

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