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‘Not inclusive enough’: UK agency removes ‘women’ from cancer info sheet

“Not inclusive enough”: British authorities delete “woman” from cancer information sheet

The British National Health Service (NHS) has removed the word “woman” from a leaflet on the prevention of womb cancer and other cancers that primarily affect women. The reason: This could discriminate against other menstruating genders.

editorial staff
7. June 2022 14:36

The word “woman” can no longer be found in an information sheet on cervical and breast cancer from the British health authority – even though almost 100 percent of people develop these types of cancer.

“Anyone with ovaries can get this cancer” – there is no talk of women.

“The two organs that store eggs”

The original version of the leaflet stated: “Cervical cancer affects the female reproductive organ. It is commonly found in women who are past the menopause.” The new, “inclusive” version now states: “Most uterine cancers usually start in the lining of the uterus (endometrium), this is also known as endometrial cancer”. The reference to the affected group is nowhere to be found.

At another point it becomes particularly absurd: Previously it was read about ovarian cancer that this was one of the most common types of cancer in women. Now this text had to give way to a confusing paraphrase: ovarian cancer affects “the two organs that store the eggs needed for the birth of babies.”

Gender correctness can “endanger health”

Experts from the health sector strongly criticize this change. Deleting the term is very confusing, especially for women who do not speak English or speak it poorly. The gender-neutral language is “well intentioned”, but due to the confusing description it can mean that patients no longer feel addressed – and as a result they do not attend important check-up appointments and could thus endanger their health.

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