Events, exhibitions, free and direct visits to Facebook: October 2 marks the start of the month of breast prevention. For the occasion, Humanitas is back with the initiatives of ‘Sorrisi in Rosa’, the exhibition-book that, since last year, has brought the testimonies of 12 women who have defeated breast cancer. The photographs and portraits were taken by Luisa Morniroli, a patient of Humanitas and the soul of the project.
A month of appointments at Humanitas
Conferences, live online, open days with visits to the laboratories with the researchers to learn about the work of Humanitas and discover paths of care, stories of rebirth and hope.
And free screening (at Humanitas Medical Care in via Domodossola, Milan) for under 50 daughters of women who have had breast cancer and a healthy and balanced breakfast prepared by Marco Bianchi, scientific divulger of the Veronesi Foundation (October 2, the opening day of the month of prevention). On 13 October it will be the turn of Mamazone, the conference on breast cancer now in its eighth edition. The Bra Day, scheduled in Humanitas on 27 October to reflect on the importance of breast reconstruction, closes the calendar of events.
Mamazone: our genes control us, but who controls our genes?
The conference, promoted by the Humanitas Cancer Center in collaboration with the Italian School of Breast Medicine, is scheduled for Saturday, October 13 from 8:30 to 17:00 at the Congress Center of Humanitas. The heart of the debate will be the epigenetic: how can we influence our basic genes in terms of prevention or slowing down with respect to a disease in progress? Through lifestyle (e.g. yoga, which connects mind and spirit, relaxes and creates an internal balance) and healthy eating (foods rich in anthocyanin’s, vegetable pigments contained in fruit) that help us to defend ourselves from environmental factors such as exposure to certain toxic agents that can affect our gene expression.
The importance of breast reconstruction: Humanitas for Bra Day
The day of October 27th, instead, will be dedicated to scientific reports and testimonies with and for patients who have had breast cancer. The protagonists of the debate will be breast specialists, oncologists, radiotherapists, plastic surgeons, associations of volunteers and patients, to kick off the day will be Professor Marco Klinger, Head of the Humanitas Plastic Surgery Operations Unit.
During the initiative will also be presented an important counseling service that puts in contact patients with breast cancer with women already operated on who has also addressed the reconstruction of sense. The aim is to provide answers to daily questions, support based on direct experience, also involving associations of patients suffering from breast cancer. These include Europa Donna, a movement that represents women’s rights in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer, active in raising awareness not only in Italy, but throughout Europe.
Smiles in Pink: not only prevention
“Sorrisi in rosa is not only a prevention campaign, but also an information campaign on the quality of care. Prevention is important, but if it does not follow a proper course of treatment becomes useless,” explained Professor Corrado Tinterri, director of Breast Unit of Senology of Humanitas.
In particular, “this year we are trying to raise awareness especially among younger women, i.e. those who do not currently have screening programs and who are left to their own devices from this point of view,” Tinterri explained, “also because 40% of women who have had breast cancer are under 50 years of age. “These women – and especially the daughters of women who have already had cancer, must know that having had a mother with this cancer is an important risk factor -. Young women must devote themselves to spontaneous prevention programs and set up a program of visits and checks appropriate to their condition and their age,” concluded Tinterri. “So yes to prevention, but also information, quality of treatment and adequacy of treatment pathways,” concluded Tinterri.
The progress of research: a clinical study on axillary emptying
It is called ‘Sinodar One’ and is the most important multi-centric clinical study, active in Italy, which deals with the axillary dissection of breast cancer.
“It is a randomized surgical trial that has now lasted four years and will close next year, by the end of 2019 – explained Professor Tinterri – It involves about thirty research centers in Italy and 600 selected patients, between 40 and 75 years, who have breast cancer and, apparently, do not have a lymph node involvement.
The goal, the professor said, “is to understand if and how safe it is not to proceed with axillary emptying in women who have a macro-metastatic and pathological lymph node”. “If we have the desired results, it is very likely that in the future we will avoid axillary emptying – which is the biggest problem for those who have had breast cancer – in all women. Complications, ‘social’ costs and more will also be reduced. It would be an epoch-making change,” concluded Tinterri.
To promote and support Humanitas’ cancer research, in the month of prevention dedicated to breast cancer, the pink scarves, made by Caterina Spriano, who has been active in the project for years, will be on sale (at the Humanitas Foundation shop). The proceeds will be used to support the hospital’s cancer research projects.