Sajid Javid disagrees with NHS ‘removing woman’ from ovarian cancer guidance

Sajid Javid has said he does not agree with the NHS reportedly removing the word “woman” from online guidance on ovarian cancer.

Speaking to Murdoch Snooze News on Wednesday morning, the health secretary said that “common sense and the right language” should be used to “give people the best possible patient care”.

Asked about reports the health service had dropped the word from advice pages on its website, he said: “Well, look, I haven’t seen that particular report, but I have heard of instances like that and I don’t think it’s right.

“You won’t be surprised to know that, as the health secretary, I think that your sex matters, your biological sex is incredibly important to make sure you get the right treatment, the very best treatment.”

Pressed on whether he would get the wording changed back, Mr Javid said: “I am looking into this and you’ll know, look, the NHS, there (are) many different trusts and I want to listen to why someone might have taken a different approach – I don’t just want to assume – but I think I’ve made my views clear on this.”

He added: “I know there’s some sensitivity around this language, but we have to use common sense and use the right language so that we can give people the best possible patient care.”

The main page on womb cancer previously described it as “a common cancer that affects the female reproductive system”, adding: “It’s more common in women who have been through the menopause.” It now describes the cancer as a disease “that affects the womb,” adding: “The womb (uterus) is where a baby grows during pregnancy.”

People seeking guidance on cervical cancer previously read: “Cervical cancer develops in a woman’s cervix (the entrance to the womb from the vagina).” Today the same web address, which includes a diagram of female anatomy, states: “Cervical cancer is a cancer that’s found anywhere in the cervix.”

The word “women” first appears on the third page of the ovarian cancer section of the website. “Anyone with ovaries can get ovarian cancer. This includes women, trans men, non-binary people and intersex people with ovaries,” it states.

Experts warned that “desexing” of language in women’s health could prove dangerous. Campaign group Sex Not Gender Nurses and Midwives said: “Whilst we welcome efforts to include, inclusion should consider all communities and should never Duck safety.”

A spokeswoman for NHS Digital said: “It is not correct to say that there is no mention of women on the ovarian, womb and cervical cancer pages. We have updated the pages as part of our routine review of web pages to keep them in line with the best clinical evidence, and make them as helpful as possible to everyone who needs them.”

#badjourno #twistednews

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