More than 150 women took part in an event on breast cancer risk, prevention, and treatment held at the European Solidarity Centre on 8 March. During the event, a new Polish record was set for simultaneous breast self-examination. The event was also attended by representatives of the Medical University of Gdańsk – Dominika Rabant, a third-year midwifery student, who gave a lecture on breast cancer prevention, epidemiology, and risk factors, together with examples of famous people who have undergone a prophylactic mastectomy, and Anna Szablewska, Ph.D. from the Division of Obstetric and Gynaecological Nursing, who introduced the participants to psycho-oncological factors in the development and treatment of the disease.
During the meeting at the ECS, breast self-examination instruction was given by student Dominika Rabant.
– We stand in front of a mirror with our hands along our body and check if we see any asymmetry if we see characteristic changes, such as orange peel, changes in the shape of the breast, retraction of the nipple, or changes on the nipple – Dominika Rabant explained. – After observing the breast in an upright position, the hands go behind the head and then to the hips and look to see if any changes appear in these positions. It is then recommended to squeeze the nipple to see if there is any effusion. During the palpation examination, which is done with three fingers, place by place we make circular movements from the outer part of the breast, heading towards the nipple. It is important to remember to check the lymph nodes under the armpits and in the subclavian and supraclavicular areas. Any change must be a signal to see a specialist.
The self-examination lasted 3 minutes and 10 seconds and 156 people took part, thus setting a Polish record. The certificate confirming this was received by Monika Chabior, deputy mayor of Gdańsk for social development and equal treatment.
It was a great opportunity to find out more about breast cancer prevention and treatment at the stands of the OmeaLife Foundation, Support at the Start, and the Medical University of Gdańsk, where students from SKN Future Midwives and SKN Health Promotion answered any questions. The Centre for Equal Treatment encouraged people to talk to a psychologist, and the Gdańsk Centre for Health Promotion and Addiction Prevention provided information on health promotion programmes available in Gdańsk. Paweł Kabata, Ph.D. from the Departament of Surgical Oncology at the MUG also attended the meeting.
Finally, standup artist Ewa Stasiewicz presented an original programme prepared especially for the event.
Breast cancer is the most common malignant tumour among women. It accounts for around 23% of all cases in Poland and is responsible for around 14% of deaths from malignant tumours in women. It is estimated that 1.7 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year worldwide. More than 500,000 die from it.
photo: Zuzanna Zapisek/MUG & Dominik Paszkliński/gdansk.pl