Government promotes page on vaginal cancer that does not mention women

So much for the crackdown on ‘woke’ language! Department of Health uses health awareness month to promote page on vaginal cancer that DOESN’T use the word ‘women’

  • Department of Health has linked to the new ‘inclusive’ NHS vaginal cancer page
  • This and other women’s health pages had the term ‘women’ removed recently
  • It comes despite a pledge from ex-Health Sec Sajid Javid to reverse the change

The Government is promoting an NHS advice page on vaginal cancer which doesn’t use the word ‘women’ — despite promising to crackdown on the woke de-sexing of medical language.

The Department of Health and Social Care’s Twitter account yesterday promoted the page, which was quietly made gender-neutral last year. 

In November 2021, the page had a line that stated: ‘Vaginal cancer is rare, especially in women under 40.’

But now the overview section of this page omits this information entirely, with users having to click through to the ‘symptoms’ subheading to find it. 

The DHSC promoted the NHS page as part of Gynaecological Cancers Awareness Month — which are unique to the female reproductive system. 

These include cancers of the vagina, cervix, ovaries, womb and vulva.

Ex-Health Secretary Sajid Javid promised to reverse gender-neutral language in NHS advice after a series of MailOnline revelations which showed the term ‘women’ was being quietly erased.

His successor, the newly-appointed Thérèse Coffey, has yet to say whether she will keep her predecessor’s promise. 

The Department of Health and Social Care has promoted an NHS female cancer page that removed the word ‘women’ and also failed itself to use the term

The NHS vaginal cancer page is just one of the health service’s gynaecological cancer pages which have scrubbed the term ‘women’ from its landing page in the name of being ‘inclusive’. The page featured term ‘women’ on its landing page in November 2021 but this was changed in an update In December of that year

Newly appointed Health Secretary Thérèse Coffey has yet to say if she will honour her predecessor’s commitment to reversing the de-sexing of NHS women’s health pages

NHS info pages on gynaecological cancers have undergone an ‘inclusive’ scrubbing.

For example, the original version of the ovarian NHS cancer page featured the line: ‘Ovarian cancer, or cancer of the ovaries, is one of the most common types of cancer in women.’

Another line read: ‘Ovarian cancer mainly affects women who have been through the menopause (usually over the age of 50), but it can sometimes affect younger women.’

However, in an update sneaked out in January — these were removed with the page now saying: ‘Anyone with ovaries can get ovarian cancer, but it mostly affects those over 50.’ 

NHS Digital, which manages health information webpages for the health service, has defended the changes as ensuring language was ‘inclusive’.

A spokesperson added: ‘The NHS website provides information for everyone. 

‘We keep the pages under continual review to ensure they use language that is inclusive, respectful and relevant to the people reading it.’ 

Like the NHS, DHSC did not mention ‘women’ or ‘woman’ in its promotional post or the accompanying image. 

DHSC did not respond to MailOnline’s queries on if it was aligning itself with NHS Digital’s inclusive language policy. 

Bizarrely, similar men’s health NHS pages, like the one for testicular cancer, remain untouched by gender-neutral terminology.

Women’s health experts have repeatedly warned the woke language changes could be dangerous for women by over-complicating vital health messaging.

Ex-Health Secretary Sajid Javid promised to reverse gender neutral language in NHS advice after MailOnline revealed the term ‘women’ had been quietly erased from menopause advice in June. His new successor, Thérèse Coffey, has yet to commit to the same

Here are some examples of the woke language changes that have engulfed NHS communications. Some of these examples have been taken from national NHS communications while others are used by individual hospitals 

The woke language storm came to a head in June when Mr Javid vowed to stamp out the trend.

His promise was made in response to MailOnline revealing how the word women had been removed from the NHS’s official menopause page. 

Vaginal cancer is considered rare, with only 250 cases diagnosed in the UK per year, with 110 deaths. This rises to 1,369 cases per year in the US, with 431 deaths. 

The main symptoms of the disease are a lump in the vagina and ulcers or skin changes around the vaginal area.

Potential symptoms are often picked up during cervical screening but women should see their GP if they notice any changes themselves. 

Although the cancer types mostly affect women, they can also strike transgender men and non-binary people assigned female at birth.

From ‘chestfeeding’ to ‘human milk’ and ‘birthing PARENTS’: How NHS language is going woke – with women quietly being scrubbed out of ‘inclusive’ advice pages

‘Chestfeeding’ instead of breastfeeding and asking men if they are pregnant before getting a scan are just two ways NHS language has gone woke recently. 

NHS chiefs have repeatedly defended the changes, saying they want to be ‘inclusive, respectful and relevant’.

But health experts have warned de-gendering medical advice could be dangerous as it over-complicates and obscures vital health messaging. 

Here, we detail some of the ways the woke language storm has engulfed the health service.

Period page avoids ‘women’ and ‘girls’, instead uses ‘people who bleed’ 

MailOnline revealed the terms ‘women’ and ‘girls’ had been omitted from NHS backed guidance about periods.

A website funded by the Welsh Government to give advice about menstruation omitted the words ‘women’ and ‘girls’ from its information.

Instead the website, Bloody Brilliant, which cost the taxpayer £84,000, used the terms ‘people who bleed’ and ‘half of the population’. 

Medics and campaigners described the language as ‘infuriating’ and ‘confusing’, warning it would complicate much needed health messaging for vulnerable girls.

The website was set up in 2021 with the aim of ‘breaking the taboo around periods by encouraging conversation on one of the most normal, natural topics’.

MailOnline’s exposure of the issue last month led to the branch of NHS Wales responsible for the advice stating language will now be changed to include ‘women’ and ‘girls’.

Bloody Brilliant, an NHS commissioned website on periods was heavily criticised for refusing to mention ‘women’ and ‘girls’, instead referring to ‘people who bleed’

NHS removes the word ‘women’ from its MENOPAUSE page 

MailOnline revealed the NHS’s online guidance about the menopause had the terms ‘women’ and ‘woman’ removed.

The webpage used to describe the condition as ‘when a woman stops having periods and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally’.

But a new, gender-neutral description made in May, says: ‘Menopause is when your periods stop due to lower hormone levels’.

The old advice also highlighted menopause usually occurs in women between the ages of 45 and 55, but about one in 100 women experience it before 40. 

But none of this information is included in the overview section of the updated webpage.   

In total six mentions of ‘women’ and ‘woman’ have been scrubbed from the page.  

Justifying the change, NHS Digital said they wanted language to be ‘inclusive and respectful’.

Experts warned that de-sexing the menopause page meant women with low English or health literacy could miss out and not read further. 

The NHS has quietly omitted the terms ‘women’ and ‘woman’ from its webpage on menopause. Pictured here is the older version of the menopause overview page (May 16) which mentioned women six times 

But the new version omits women from the overview entirely. Experts have warned women could be disadvantaged by de-gendered medical advice confusing health messaging

NHS midwives told that sex is ‘ASSIGNED’ at birth 

Midwives denounced claims they ‘assign’ the sex of children at birth in a row on woke language.

The wording came from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in an ‘inclusivity’ statement.

Their document said: ‘We recognise maternity and gynaecological services will be accessed by women, gender diverse individuals and people whose gender identity does not align with the sex they were assigned at birth.’

But some midwives hit back at the colleges, arguing that they merely ‘observe’ the reality of a baby’s sex at birth — as opposed to deciding it themselves.

Jo Gould, a midwife in Sussex, said she was ‘ashamed’ of her representative body and that the statement was ‘nonsense’ and ‘offensive’.

But the RCM said the phrase ‘sex assigned at birth’ was used correctly arguing it is the UK government’s Office for National Statistics legal terminology for the sex observed at birth and then recorded on the birth certificate.

A statement on inclusivity from the Royal College of Midwives and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has provoked outrage from some midwives on social media for using the term ‘sex assigned at birth’

NHS pregnancy advice refers to ‘chestfeeding’ and refuses to mention breasts

The NHS was criticised over ‘ideological’ new advice for trans parents that failed to mention the word ‘breast’.

A page titled ‘chestfeeding if you’re trans or non-binary’ makes no mention of breasts and refers to breast reduction operations as ‘top surgery’.  

It was also accused of ‘normalising’ a potentially dangerous chest-binding technique.

The guidance also encourages people to keep taking hormone transitioning drugs when they ‘chestfeed’, despite admitting ‘it is unclear what effect this could have on your baby’.

The advice was written a year prior to publication but was only issued online after nearly 12 months of internal NHS wrangling.

It provoked concern among nurses and maternity experts, who said the advice fails to warn people about health risks of such practices to both parents and babies. 

The term chestfeeding is used throughout the page with the term ‘breast’ omitted. Breastmilk likewise has been replaced with ‘milk from the chest’

The page also says testosterone can pass through breast milk to babies but adds it is ‘unclear’ what affect passing the hormone on to a baby could have 

Critics of the page have said it normalises a potentially dangerous ‘binding’ technique used to make breasts smaller using fabric and which can cause a variety of health problems

NHS bosses removed term ‘WOMEN’ on ovarian and womb cancer advice pages

Official NHS advice pages about ovarian, womb, vaginal and cervix cancers were found to have quietly scrubbed the word ‘women’ from their webpages earlier this year.

The term was missing from the landing pages of three sections explaining the cancers, which are only found in biological women.

For example, the original version of the ovarian NHS cancer page featured the line: ‘Ovarian cancer, or cancer of the ovaries, is one of the most common types of cancer in women.’

Another line read: ‘Ovarian cancer mainly affects women who have been through the menopause (usually over the age of 50), but it can sometimes affect younger women.’

However, in an update sneaked out in January — these were removed with the page now saying: ‘Anyone with ovaries can get ovarian cancer, but it mostly affects those over 50.’

The changes were made late in 2021 and early 2022 but only came to light in May.

The old version of the NHS ovarian cancer page as of December 30 2021 (left) mentions women specifically twice, whereas the new version (right) omits them 

NHS reinstates the word ‘women’ in its miscarriage advice 

In June, the health service added the word ‘women’ back to its miscarriage page following backlash.

The health service replaced ‘women who know they’re pregnant’ with ‘people who know they are pregnant’.  

Another line on the page was also criticised for saying miscarriage ‘only affects about one in 100 people’ instead of women.

Despite amending one of the sentences to state that having three consecutive miscarriages ‘only affects about one in 100 women’, other pages in the NHS guidance make no mention of women at all. 

A section called ‘aftermath’ refers to ‘people’ seven times but not once to women, including in its sub-paragraph about the emotional impact of a miscarriage.

Another section titled ’causes’ does mention women several times when attributing their age as a factor on their pregnancy, with one in ten expectant women under 30 having a miscarriage compared to five in ten over 45.

NHS Digital has now partially amended the webpage to include the word ‘women’ once at the end

NHS-backed guidance states transwomen can breastfeed

Experts warned newborn babies could be harmed by woke NHS-backed guidance stating biologically born men can breastfeed.

Guidance from the La Leche’s charity — linked to on the NHS’s controversial ‘chestfeeding’ advice page — states biological men who swap sex can stimulate milk supply using the Newman-Goldfarb protocol.

But the procedure, which involves taking a powerful drug called domperidone, has been mired in controversy and is effectively banned in the US because of its side effects. 

NHS bosses only recommend it to women struggling to produce milk in some cases because domperidone carries a risk of giving a baby an irregular heartbeat. 

Experts told MailOnline how scientists have ‘no idea about the implications’, of breastfeeding in men and that the NHS should focus on improving access to breastfeeding rates for women.

An NHS England spokesperson said the link to La Leche’s advice on the chestfeeding guidance page was to an ‘independent, non-profit support site’ and added does not reflect NHS policy.

Hospitals asking men if they are pregnant before scans 

In March, it was revealed that men were being asked if they are or could be pregnant before given radiotherapy by some NHS trusts. 

Male cancer patients, as well as those having X-rays and MRI scans, were asked if they were expecting a baby, because the word ‘female’ was replaced by ‘individuals’ for medical procedures.  

For example, the Walton Centre NHS in Liverpool now asks ‘all patients under the age of 60, regardless of how you may identify your gender’ whether they could be having a baby.

The dangers that radiotherapy, diagnostic imaging and nuclear medicine pose to an unborn child mean medics must find out if biologically female patients are pregnant before carrying out the procedures.

But campaigners warned the move could spark the beginning of a ‘clinically dangerous’ move to record only gender, and not sex, on medical records.

Patients and their families have also complained of ‘unnecessary confusion and agitation’ for vulnerable patients.

Student midwives being taught how to help biological MEN give birth

In May this year, it was revealed that midwifery students at Edinburgh Napier University were being taught biological men could get pregnant and trans men could give birth even if they have a penis.

In a coursebook that has since been revised, trainee midwives were given detailed instructions on how to treat a male-to-female trans person during childbirth. 

The book’s introduction stated: ‘You may be caring for a pregnant or birthing person who is transitioning from male to female and may still have external male genitalia.’

Another section with photo demonstrations detailed how to fit a catheter in a person with a penis and scrotum during labour.

The book also included special instructions for people with prostate glands — which are exclusive to biological men — who may feel particular ‘discomfort’.

Several experts criticised the university, describing the woke material as ‘remarkably ignorant about basic biology, sex and anatomy’.

Bosses at the university have now changed the wording to say, ‘people transitioning from female to male’ rather than ‘male to female’, following the uproar.

NHS told to use inclusive birth terms to avoid offending transgender people

NHS services were told to use ‘inclusive’ terms like ‘chestfeeding’ so trans pregnant people aren’t offended by a Government-funded report published in April. 

Produced by charity the LGBT Foundation other suggestions of language change was avoiding terms like ‘vaginal birth’, recommending ‘frontal’ or ‘lower birth’ instead.

The charity also says some trans and non-binary people would benefit from having a private space in hospitals to give birth, so that they are not made uncomfortable by seeing women. 

It detailed the experience of one trans person, who said: ‘I didn’t have to go to a ward full of women after giving birth, I was actually provided with a private room for me and baby which was very helpful and accommodating for me and my gender identity.’ 

The report was based on a survey 121 trans Britons on their experience of pregnancy.

It was commissioned by the Health & Wellbeing Alliance, a partnership between charities and the NHS, which is managed jointly by the Department of Health and Social Care and Office for Health Improvement and Disparities.

NHS hospital tells staff to say ‘birthing parents’ and ‘human milk’ 

In February last year Brighton and Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust unveiled ‘gender inclusive’ phrases it wanted its staff to use.

These included terms like ‘birthing parents’ and ‘human milk’ rather than ‘mothers’ and ‘breast milk’ to avoid offending transgender people.

The Trust said using ‘gender inclusive’ phrases was part of a drive to stamp out ‘mainstream transphobia’.

Other changes include replacing the use of the word ‘woman’ with the phrase ‘woman or person’, and the term ‘father’ with ‘parent’, ‘co-parent’ or ‘second biological parent’, depending on the circumstances. 

The new terms will be used for documents, protocols and Trust-wide communication.

The move was welcomed by inclusivity campaigners at the time, with the group TransActual tweeted: ‘This is fantastic, well done. Let’s hope many more trusts follow suit. Everybody deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.’ 

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