NHS web pages – like NHS Inform – describe ovarian, womb and cervical cancers as ‘cancer that affects the female reproductive system’.

These webpages have begun to adopt gender-neutral language, alongside the term ‘woman’.These guidelines have thankfully been rewritten using gender-neutral language for those who have body parts commonlyassociated with being female, but do not identify as women.Say, if you were to search for ‘ovarian cancer’ on the NHS’s help pages, you would once have read ‘one of the most common types of cancer in women’.Instead, it now states: ‘Anyone with ovaries can get ovarian cancer.

This includes women, trans men, non-binary people and intersex people with ovaries.’Of course, this has been met by criticism and disdain by some who believe it risks causing ‘harm’ to patients.It’s indicative of the knee jerk reaction that we saw last year when Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust revealed that it would finally be using gender-neutral terms in its birth services, with phrases like ‘chestfeeding’, ‘human milk’ and ‘birthing parents’.What’s really harmful is the fact that one in seven LGBTQ+ people avoid seeking out healthcare that could be life-saving as they’re afraid of discriminationBacklash to this policy change was referred to as ‘PC nonsense’ by Piers Morgan, nonetheless, adding that he thought it was ‘exclusive and alienates people’.On this most recent occasion, a senior government source apparently said that gender-neutral terms were ‘harmful and can prevent people from finding the help they need’, and that NHS guidance should ‘use clear and commonly understood terms’.Sadly, our own health secretary, Sajid Javid, said ‘biological sex matters’ in response – adding that he doesn’t.