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    “Hand to heart” campaign raises awareness for breast cancer

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    06. November 2023
    6:50 min.
    This October, Krones ran a breast cancer awareness campaign featuring several events aimed at fostering prevention and education.

    It’s a topic that we rarely speak about openly. Which is why I’m going to come right out and ask the women among us: Hand on your heart, how often do your breasts get checked for lumps? Men, feel free to ask your wife, your girlfriend or your mom. It is important that we talk about breast health. Read on to find out why.

    A woman who gets regular gynecological (“well woman”) exams will likely respond with “once a year”. And while that is better than never, it’s not nearly often enough. Did you know that more frequent check-ups make it possible to detect breast cancer in its earliest stage, when it can usually be successfully treated?

    Countless organizations worldwide work to raise awareness among women in particular. The pink ribbon is recognized around the globe and seems to pop up everywhere during the month of October. That’s because October is breast cancer awareness month, when many organizations around the world run campaigns focused on breast cancer prevention and education.

    Article 37847
    At Krones, too, a variety of events called attention to the topic of breast health throughout the month of October.

    Krones’ Health Management department, together with the company health insurance fund, Krones BKK, took the opportunity to establish our own breast cancer awareness month, offering a variety of learning opportunities and events:

    • In a four-part newsletter series, the project team shared information about many aspects of breast health. These ranged from risk factors and common myths to steps you can take to detect cancer early right through to tips for supporting people with cancer and talking about cancer with kids. The newsletter covered a broad spectrum of topics and served as a valuable resource. 
    • The project team also offered a webinar in mid-October for those wanting to dive deeper. Prof. Dr. Häusler of the Brustzentrum Regensburg breast health center spoke about the prevention, early detection and treatment of breast cancer from a medical perspective.
    • Tactile breast examinations leveraged the heightened sense of touch of visually impaired women to provide a supplementary breast cancer screening. Medical-tactile examiners (MTEs) are able to feel even the smallest changes in breast tissue. In these individual appointments, participants also learned how to properly perform a breast self-exam.
    • The end of the month brought a real highlight: Regina Halmich, former boxing world champion and ambassador for Pink Ribbon Germany, visited the Neutraubling plant and delivered a powerful motivational speech. In it, she offered insights into her career as a female professional athlete in a male-dominated sport and explained why breast cancer awareness is especially near to her heart. 

    “We are pleased that our breast cancer awareness campaign has been so well received among our female colleagues and that we’ve been able to see so many appreciative faces at all of our events. Our goal is to continue to raise awareness about the many and varied aspects of health and wellness and to remind all employees, male and female alike, of their most vital asset,” says Stefanie Drenda, who teamed up with her Health Management colleagues and Theresa Fleischer of Krones BKK to lead the organization of our breast cancer awareness month.

    Participants also had overwhelmingly positive feedback. Dr. Antonina Prignitz, for example, had some great takeaways from the campaign: “After taking part in Prof. Dr. Sebastian Häusler’s webinar and the discovering hands exam, I feel much more competent and confident that I will be able to detect early signs of a tumor myself. The knowledge they provided and the skills I learned in the 60-minute exam, which was truly a unique experience, are an incredible gift to all women at Krones. Many thanks for that.”

    Breast cancer facts*

    • Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer: Statistically, one in eight women will develop it.
    • Men can get breast cancer, too, though their risk is far lower: Out of 100 diagnoses, 99 will be women and just one will be a man.
    • Risk factors include an unhealthy lifestyle as well as genetic predisposition, for instance if multiple family members have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

    Ways to reduce your risk

    • Gynecological check-up, including a clinical breast examination (health insurance typically covers one exam per year)
    • Regular self-exams: see page 2 for instructions on how to perform one (it is recommended that these be done monthly) 
    • Mammogram screening: X-ray imaging of the breast (health insurance covers this once every two years for women between the ages of 50 and 69)
    • Medical-tactile breast examination and BRCA genetic testing (supplementary benefit, covered by some but not all health insurance funds)

    “Every statutory health insurance fund covers regular general wellness exams such as a clinical breast examination or mammogram screening from a certain age onward. Additional exams can be done on a self-pay basis. Depending on the results, the insurance fund may cover them retroactively. In other words, there are many options and it’s definitely worth finding out what your health insurance will cover,” recommends Theresa Fleischer of Krones BKK. 

    * Excerpted from the newsletter series published by Health Management and Krones BKK.
    06. November 2023
    6:50 min.

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