Globally, breast cancer represents one in four of all cancers in women. Impacting 2.1 million women each year, in both developed and developing countries, breast cancer is the most frequent cancer in women, according to WHO . It is estimated that worldwide, 627,000 women died from breast cancer in 2018, approximately 15% of all cancer deaths among women. Although it is thought breast cancer is to be a disease of the developed world, almost 50% of breast cancer cases and 58% of deaths occur in less developed countries .
Philips Foundation’s work is centered around access to healthcare for disadvantaged communities. In Peru, Germany and Poland, the Foundation supports life-saving breast cancer awareness projects that improve survival rates of women who lack access to preventive screenings or reliable information about breast cancer self-examination.
Building bridges through a multi-lingual app to improve breast cancer awareness
Women with a migrant background in Germany lack access to relevant and useful information on the importance of early detection of breast cancer and like an how-to of self-examination or helpful contact points. Reasons are language barriers or the given cultural structures which allow women to participate little in public life.
By developing a tailor-made multi-lingual app, proving knowledge about breast cancer and the importance of early detection, it is possible to reach these women. It has been proven that smartphones and tablets are widespread among this target group to share information. This way, the possibility of self-help, such as learning how to palpate one’s own breast professionally or benefiting from health services will be available and shared in this community to those affected.
The app targets women with migrant backgrounds by overcoming language barriers and offers the target group an information service that does not require physical visits to offices and provides an initial orientation for early detection of breast cancer. Philips Foundation supports this Pink Ribbon Germany initiative through beta testing by Philips employees and the rollout of the app at the beginning of 2021 to reach as many women with a migration background as possible.
Safeguarding Polish women from breast cancer
Annually, 18,500 women in Poland develop breast cancer while the waiting time for an ultrasound at public healthcare facilities can take up a few months. Being aware of the importance of breast cancer screening, the Philips Foundation and Philips Poland secured 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.