Today is World Cancer Day and we, at Fujifilm, we are continuing our fighting against cancer even in this critical pandemic situation. During the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries across Europe suspended breast cancer screening programs. In some areas, the number of patients who have had mammograms has decreased by more than two thirds.
Depending on the lockdown periods, which differed from country to country, the European breast units were closed one after another, first in Italy, then in other European countries. However, we know that breast cancer screening can save lives. A number of studies conducted by leading research institutions suggest that stopping screening could result in an increase in the percentage of women who will die from breast cancer in the future.1
There is much to catch up on now. With this in mind, screening units have established new routines, adapting their workflows and their workplaces. Across Europe, women’s health services have reorganised themselves in order to face the challenges of COVID-19, showing an exemplary and effective attitude to change.
To understand this change, we have invited influential voices of the European breast cancer screening landscape to understand and learn about the current situation. We asked them to tell us about how the impact of the pandemic has demanded new models of working and how this changes their relationships to their patients. The report created based on this new input is based on interviews conducted in September and October 2020. In case you are curious, the paper can be found here.
The message that we want to push and spread as much as possible is to take care of yourself, of your health, of your body. Book your screening appointment, breast units across Europe have implemented the best ways of working which help to safely reinstate screening services even in times of COVID.