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Breast Health Day walk

Europa Donna Malta Breast Care Support Group, committed to raising breast cancer and breast health awareness, with the support of women’s intimate brand Oysho, will be hosting the annual walk to commemorate Breast Health Day on October 13.

The walk will start from the square at The Point at 10am and finish off in St George’s Square, Valletta, at around 11.30am. Registrations will open at 9.30am against a €5 donation.

Europa Donna Malta is the Maltese counterpart of Europa Donna, the European breast cancer coalition. In Malta, the group works to raise awareness about breast cancer and also offers support to people affected by the disease.

“The average five-year survival rate among European women between 1995 and 1999 was 79.5 per cent, which shows that awareness and early screening can save lives.

“In Malta, between October 2009 and July 2013, 46,000 women were invited for a breast screening, of whom 27,000 accepted and 193 were found to have cancer. This means that 193 women and their families were saved from the trauma of finding the cancer at an advanced stage and that treatment will be less drastic, with greater chances of survival,” said Europe Donna Malta president Gertrude Abela.

Ms Abela went on to say that lack of information and fear were still main factors fuelling the figures of cancer victims, especially breast cancer. “From our contact with people, we find that fear plays a major role in whether women go for a cancer screening or not. Many still fail to understand that breast screening can detect cancer in the early stages when treatment is most effective, and so should be encouraged, not avoided,” Ms Abela added.

“We are proud to be associated with this awareness event and fully support it,” said Annabelle Gauci from Oysho.

“The brand’s Love Yourself tag line is very much in line with the spirit of this awareness campaign that will seek to encourage women to love themselves a bit more by considering giving more attention to the risks of breast cancer,” she added.

Participants will be carrying different colour silhouettes in solidarity with all those currently experiencing this cancer journey. Pink will represent the incidence of breast cancer; white will be for those who have succumbed to the disease; and blue will be for men who can also incur breast cancer.

The causes of breast cancer are still not fully understood and incidence is increasing. However, treatment has improved considerably and more women are surviving the disease.

Regular self-examinations and other breast checks are important. Women can reduce the risk of breast cancer by maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol intake and staying physically active.

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