EUROPA DONNA – The European Breast Cancer Coalition, in collaboration with Nessa Childers MEP, held a Breast Health Day Information event for MEPs at the European Parliament on 10 October as an advance celebration of Breast Health Day and its message to young girls and women across Europe that healthy lifestyle choices can have a positive influence on breast cancer risk.
EUROPA DONNA – The European Breast Cancer Coalition, in collaboration with Nessa Childers MEP, held a Breast Health Day Information event for MEPs at the European Parliament on 10 October as an advance celebration of Breast Health Day and its message to young girls and women across Europe that healthy lifestyle choices can have a positive influence on breast cancer risk. This all-day Breast Health Day information event is conducted by EUROPA DONNA at the European Parliament annually; it includes an information stand with posters and flyers being distributed to all the parliamentarians to raise awareness of the important steps that can be taken to prevent breast cancer later in life. The ultimate goal of this event is to have the European Parliament declare 15 October to be Breast Health Day.
“We are pleased that EUROPA DONNA is bringing this information directly to parliamentarians in advance of Breast Health Day on 15 October. It is fundamental that MEPs are aware of the lifestyle factors that are scientifically linked to breast cancer and the importance of early detection through mammography screening programmes set up in accordance with EU Guidelines*”, said Nessa Childers MEP, Ireland.
The 2012 Breast Health Day campaign is entitled “For your Breast Health” and is focused on all the healthy aspects of lifestyle: having a healthy diet, maintaining a normal body weight and increasing physical exercise. It is reaching out to a younger audience through social networking sites such as Facebook and twitter. It also includes a video on YouTube and additional information at the website www.breasthealthday.org where women can make pledges for their breast health and access infographics concerning breast cancer data.
The Breast Health Day campaign was launched by Europa Donna in 2008 in recognition of definitive International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) data showing the role of lifestyle and early detection through population-based mammography screening programmes in reducing the risk of breast cancer. In Europe alone there are some 450,000 new cases of breast cancer each year, 25-33% of which may be avoided through changes in lifestyle, especially physical exercise and maintaining a normal body weight.
“We have the data and we have a positive, non-threatening message for the young women of Europe. We would ultimately like to see the European Parliament declare every 15 October to be Breast Health Day,” said Karen Benn, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at EUROPA DONNA.
Breast Health Day will be celebrated on 15 October, with activities held in most of EUROPA DONNA’s 46 member countries. It is now a global campaign with countries around the world conducting activities.
*The European Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Breast Cancer Screening and Diagnosis, 4th edition. European Commission, 2006.