Centrum prasowe

cze 25, 2020

Philips Foundation joins the “BreastFit: Woman’s Breast - Man’s Matter” campaign organized by OnkoCafe Foundation to secure 1,000 breast ultrasound examination for women in Poland with limited access to healthcare


 

  • Every year, 18,500 women in Poland get breast cancer, and nearly 6,600 of them die. Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in all age groups above 20 years1. Breast cancer accounts for 22.5% of all malignancies in women (more than twice as many as lung cancer which is the second most common type of cancer), and 14.8% of deaths in this group

 

  • As reported by patients, the waiting time for a breast ultrasound scan at public healthcare facilities can reach up to a few months. Due to the current Covid-19 outbreak, the waiting time is even longer. To improve its availability, as a part of the “BreastFit: Woman’s Breast - Man’s Matter” campaign there will be an ultrasound examinations for 1,000 Polish women with limited access to screening.

Although breast cancer is the most common malignancy among women in Poland, the statistics show that the incidence and mortality due to this disease continue to rise. Although there have recently been some positive changes, such as improved access to innovative therapies, plenty still needs to be done to change the poor statistics. In order to do that, prevention and speedy diagnostics are key. However, these have been adversely affected by the current epidemiological challenge caused by COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to support women, the Philips Foundation will finance ultrasound examinations for 1,000 women in Poland with limited access to healthcare as part of the “BreastFit: Woman’s Breast. Man’s Matter” campaign. By doing so, Philips Foundation will support the campaign launched by the OnkoCafe – Better Together Foundation and join forces with the campaign’s main partner, Novartis.

 

According to the National Cancer Registry, more than 18,000 women in Poland are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. More than 6,500 of them die, even though a third of these patients could have been saved if the disease had been diagnosed earlier. The problem lies in both inadequate systemic support and the lack of awareness. In some regions, women need to wait for a few months to have an ultrasound examination at a public healthcare facility, while the waiting time for a genetic test may be even much longer. Breast self-examination also involves serious problems. Only 42 per cent of people in Poland are aware that breast self-exam should be done at least once a month. Women tend to be slightly better informed (50 per cent of women vs. 33 per cent of men). It is also alarming that nearly 50 per cent of female respondents do not do their monthly breast self-exam. Only 53 per cent of women do it on a regular basis. Moreover, 66 per cent of women do not know when to perform a breast self-exam during their menstrual cycle. This translates into Poland’s poor statistics compared to the rest of Europe: the 5-year survival rate in patients with breast cancer in Poland is lower than in other developed economies by between ten and twenty percentage points. Additionally, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, access to diagnostic testing is even more limited.

 

- Lack of adequate prophylaxis is a major factor contributing to the late detection of breast cancer. Only half of all eligible patients undergo the generally available screening test for women over 50, while younger women tend to skip breast self-examination which is crucial for the early detection of breast cancer. Meanwhile, it’s the cases diagnosed as stage 1 that have the greatest likelihood of recovery, which may reach up to 90 per cent,” says Agnieszka Jagiełło-Gruszweld, MD, PhD, Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology in Warsaw. - Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has made the situation even worse. The fear of getting infected keeps patients from getting examined, which further delays the diagnosis and the start of the treatment process. - she adds.

Raising awareness about breast cancer among men

The “BreastFit: Women’s Breast. Man’s Matter” campaign was launched by the OnkoCafe Foundation in 2015 and is supported by the Polish Society of Oncology (PTO) and the Commissioner for Patients' Rights. Its mission and the main goal are to raise awareness about breast cancer prevention and the course of the disease among women and their male partners.

 

- The “BreastFit: Women’s Breast. Man’s Matter” campaign talks about how to wisely support women in preventing breast cancer, as well as after the diagnosis, at every stage of the disease. The man’s role cannot be overestimated. It’s important that they remind their partners about regular breast self-exams, and if the worst-case scenario happens and the partner is diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s crucial that they support her and be by her side as she fights the disease, - Anna Kupiecka, President of the OnkoCafe Foundation, explains. - According to the statistics, as many as 47 per cent of Polish women do not perform a self-examination as often as recommended by physicians, or never do it at all. These data are not optimistic. To make matters worse, check-up visits are less frequent due to the outbreak. We all need to join forces to help reverse this trend as much as we can. More than ever before, BreastFit is a much-needed health discipline. - Anna Kupiecka adds

Raising awareness about breast cancer among men

The “BreastFit: Women’s Breast. Man’s Matter” campaign was launched by the OnkoCafe Foundation in 2015 and is supported by the Polish Society of Oncology (PTO) and the Commissioner for Patients' Rights. Its mission and the main goal are to raise awareness about breast cancer prevention and the course of the disease among women and their male partners.

 

- The “BreastFit: Women’s Breast. Man’s Matter” campaign talks about how to wisely support women in preventing breast cancer, as well as after the diagnosis, at every stage of the disease. The man’s role cannot be overestimated. It’s important that they remind their partners about regular breast self-exams, and if the worst-case scenario happens and the partner is diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s crucial that they support her and be by her side as she fights the disease, - Anna Kupiecka, President of the OnkoCafe Foundation, explains. - According to the statistics, as many as 47 per cent of Polish women do not perform a self-examination as often as recommended by physicians, or never do it at all. These data are not optimistic. To make matters worse, check-up visits are less frequent due to the outbreak. We all need to join forces to help reverse this trend as much as we can. More than ever before, BreastFit is a much-needed health discipline. - Anna Kupiecka adds

Increasing outreach

In June 2020, the Philips Foundation and Philips Poland joined the Breasfit: Women’s Breast. Man’s Matter campaign supported by Novartis. Thanks to the parties joining forces 1,000 women in Poland will be able to have a breast ultrasound scan.

 

-Supporting measures aimed at enhancing the quality of life of cancer patients and improving access to diagnostic testing is part of our mission, and thus, our duty which we want to fulfil together with our partners in this campaign. Philips presence in Poland dates back nearly 100 years which makes us feel even more responsible for the local community. We want to be involved in support initiatives, especially that Polish breast cancer statistics have worsened due to the coronavirus outbreak. - says Reinier Schlatmann, CEO Central & Eastern Europe at Philips.

 

In addition to ultrasound examinations supported by the Philips Foundation, a series of workshops will be held for women living in smaller towns and rural areas. During the workshop, attendees will be educated on breast self-examination and its role in the early detection of cancer. The knowledge gained at the workshop will allow participants to check their health properly and to share what they know about self-examination with other women, encouraging them to do this at home and to see their doctor regularly.

 

-Adding diagnostics to the campaign in the form of breast ultrasound examinations will make this initiative more comprehensive and increase its outreach. Although education is an incredibly important tool in the fight against cancer, diagnostic testing play a key role both in disease prevention and the early treatment if a cancer diagnosis is confirmed. - says Anna Kupiecka. - Unfortunately, patients in Poland still go to the doctor too late. Another problem is the excessive waiting time for genetic tests that detect genetic mutations associated with breast cancer. Finally, the current epidemiological situation has made it even slower. We do believe, though, that with these initiatives and the huge involvement of all of our campaign partners, we will be able to change that. -  she adds.

About Royal Philips  


Royal Philips to wiodący dostawca technologii medycznych, którego misją jest poprawa zdrowia osiągana poprzez kompleksową opiekę nad pacjentem, począwszy od zdrowego trybu życia, profilaktyki, po diagnostykę, leczenie i opiekę domową. Philips wykorzystuje zaawansowane technologie, analizy kliniczne oraz doświadczenia swoich partnerów, aby dostarczyć zintegrowane rozwiązania dla sektora ochrony zdrowia. Firma ma siedzibę główną w Holandii i jest liderem w obszarze diagnostyki obrazowej oraz opartego na niej leczenia, monitorowania stanu zdrowia pacjentów, informatyki medycznej, a także w dziedzinie zdrowia konsumentów i opieki domowej. Firma w 2018 roku wygenerowała sprzedaż na poziomie 18,1 miliarda dolarów, a obecnie zatrudnia ok. 80 000 pracowników w ponad 100 krajach. Informacje na temat firmy Philips można znaleźć na www.philips.com
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Kamila Kozbial

Kamila Koźbiał

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Tel: +48 665 553 569

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