Luxembourg's Ministry of Health has announced the launch of its "Pink October" campaign as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), breast cancer accounts for 16% of female cancers and is the leading cause of cancer death among women. In Luxembourg, breast cancer is the most common female cancer and the main cause of death among women aged 50 to 70.

"It is therefore essential to raise public awareness of breast cancer and to encourage the population at risk to be screened", stressed Luxembourg's Minister of Health, Paulette Lenert.

Women between the ages of 50 and 70 are encouraged to get screened by participating in the Health Directorate's organised breast cancer screening programme, called "Programme Mammographie" (mammography programme). This programme is currently facing a decline in participation. Yet, as the Health Ministry recalled, regular screening can save lives and early detection followed by appropriate treatment can successfully cure breast cancer.

Luxembourg's mammography programme is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and concerns women aged between 50 and 70, residing in Luxembourg and affiliated to the country's social security system. Women of this age will receive an invitation every 23 months to have a mammogram in one of the approved screening centres, located in one of the five hospitals in Luxembourg.

The Health Ministry added that this programme has proven its effectiveness and each year contributes to medical care and appropriate treatment for women in whom cancer is detected. On average in Luxembourg, out of 1,000 mammograms carried out as part of the programme, 950 show normal results and 50 show abnormal results. In the latter, additional examinations are carried out, with 44 women not having confirmed cancer whilst six will be diagnosed as having developed this disease.

In order to raise awareness and encourage women to get screened, the Ministry of Health and the Health Directorate are jointly organising an awareness campaign throughout the month of Pink October on this subject. This campaign features:

- a video message by Minister Lenert;

- the ministry and directorate as partners in the "Broschtkriibslaf", a four-kilometre charity race, which took place on 1 October 2022 in Hesperange park and was organised by Europa Donna Luxembourg to support breast cancer patients;

- awareness and information days in the following hospitals: at Centre Hospitalier du Nord (CHDN) on 13 October, at Hôpital Kirchberg Robert Schuman (HRS) and at Centre Hospitalier du Luxembourg (CHL) on 18 October, at ZithaKlinik on 20 October and at Centre Hospitalier Emile Mayrisch (CHEM) on 21 October 2022;

- Facebook Live event, to answer questions from Internet users live, on 6 October 2022 at 17:00 (on the Facebook page of the Ministry of Health), with Dr Pit Duschinger, President of the Luxembourg society of gynaecology and obstetrics, and Fanny Lorin, head of department of the coordination centre for organised cancer screening;

- the distribution of breast-shaped chocolates, to raise awareness of the number of people statistically affected by breast cancer in Luxembourg, at various events (e.g. the Vianden Nut Market on 9 October, Esch Moart in Esch-sur-Alzette on 14 October and Mantelsonndeg in Luxembourg City on 23 October 2022);

- a communications kit on the theme of the campaign "Ech ginn an d'Mammo. An du?" (I'm going to get a mammogram. And you?) is available on the website