News from our members
HPV VIRUS AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN’S HEALTH
The Association of Cancer Patients of Athens (K.E.F.I.), and “Erifyle” group in their effort to increase awareness regarding the HPV virus, is organizing a campaign seeking to inform parents about the necessity of HPV vaccination to girls and boys.
The campaign was launched on Wednesday 29 January 2020 by a seminar with the support of health care professionals, who discussed the importance of vaccination for pre-adolescent boys and girls, as well as the types of cancers resulting from human papillomavirus (HPV).
It is our duty to protect our children; it is our duty to be aware and to promote preventive care!
- to inform the public, and especially parents and the school community, regarding the HPV virus and the best practices of protection and treatment. Data was collected from countries where the HPV prevalence has been eliminated.
- to make the vaccination a standard practice for girls and boys, looking forward to healthy women and men.
- Haidopoulos Dimitrios, Assistant Professor of Gynecological Oncology
- Athanasiadis Elias, Assistant Professor of Oncology at North Western University, USA.
- the link between stress and viral infections, the sources of stress and the aggravating factors that enhance inflammation, the various stress-induced diseases, one of which is HPV infection which can lead to cervical cancer, among others.
- HPV test, an innovation in medical examinations that is considered highly reliable for early diagnosis of the virus in the body and has many advantages over simple annual testing with a PAP smear.
- all cancer types caused by HPV and the methods used in foreign countries to limit its spread.
- characteristics of human papillomavirus (HPV), the statistics on virus infection by sex and age, the way vaccines are produced and stressed that modern vaccines do not carry a real pathogen.
- cervical cancer and the risk factors associated with it, the stages of the disease, the importance of early diagnosis and the ways of treating it by stage of diagnosis.
- experience of our member Kiki with cervical cancer who noted that she wouldn’t be here talking to us if she had the opportunity to be vaccinated in young age.
This seminar was the kick-off action of our campaign and similar events will follow in different municipalities firstly around Athens and later all over Greece.
The Mallow Flower Foundation joined again the XIV. European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week in this year. This is the seventh time we have organized Prevention Week in Hungary.
The aim of the campaign is to provide women and men again-and-again with as much information as possible about HPV, cervical cancer, prevention, treatment and after-care, whether they themselves, a family member or friend affected.
We used 2 main lines our Prevention Campaign.
One of these was the ’original Mallow activity’. We mobilized cities and villages to join and organize local events as an „Mallowflower Ambassador”. In 2020 150 (!) cities and villages became „Mallow Ambassador” across Hungary, so we’re very-very proud. Everywhere was held a Cervical Cancer Prevention Day/Evening with a variety of educational presentations, events, beading, with the aim of focusing more intensively on cervical cancer, HPV and disease-related prevention options this week. In addition to preventive lectures, beading/ making pearl bracelets has become a tradition at several venues. The „Mallowflower Ambassadors” give the bracelets to the gynecological wards of their hospitals, to those who are awaiting or have undergone cervical cancer surgery, with the message: they are not alone!
Supportive help has tremendous power, as does the mallow flower, which is strong, persistent and very beautiful. It's like the female soul, it just happens that the petals get damaged ...
Year and year we - the founder/leader of Mallow Flower Foundation usually travel and get part in the local events. These are so important in our life too, because we feel the love even closer and got many-many fantastic inspirations from the enthusiastic and dedicated local people eg. Majors, Doctors, Health Visitor, Patients etc.
The 2nd main line of the Mallow Flower Prevention Campaign was an online- awareness campaign in the hole social media platforms. We see, hear and think, that our almost constant presence in he Internet and social media not only gives space in the message of the campaign, but also defines its theme. Its purpose is to draw attention in the fact that, while communication is an integral part of our daily lives, we often tend to share completely unnecessary information, while at the same time ignoring each other for really important – often vital – things. Such as certain illnesses – we are uncomfortable talking about or we don’t have enough information.
So we made a short video-film/clip which title is ’Fontos amit megosztasz ?/! ’ ~ ’ What’s important you share?6!’ And made a # ; #dumahelyett ~ instead of spiel (cca 😊) Lots of popular Hungarian people – actors, youtubers, singers appear in the film.
We use the „#dumahelyett” branding everywhere and share the video, made gif-s from the video throughout the week. By the way the film has an english subtitle in the YouTube!
With this „#dumahelyett„ /# =>slogan/ , we want to encourage anyone with a presence in the social media at any level to try to talk to their friends about topics that may not be entertaining, but which are extremely important, with or without blank content. We believe, Information is one of the most important means of prevention!
The link of the film : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxeXWEy8Mro&t=1s
At that moment 217 965 people saw the film in the YouTube !!!
We could possibilites to bring the prevention messages to the media (TV, radio) :
New service for patients during the chemotherapy: oncological aesthetics (hand massage, arm lymphatic drainage, feet massage, nail check) in February 2020
Loto cruise with patients and their family in October 2019
New Loto PAG in Forlì in January 2020
New Loto PAG in Ancona in October 2019
New Loto PAG in Parma in November 2019
Eurydyki Association was founded in 2014 and operates at the University Oncology Centre of University Clinical Hospital in Bialystok, Poland. It brings together women with past gynaecological and oncological surgeries. Currently, there are approximately 40 women volunteers in the association. The main goals of Eurydyki are:
- to help women before, during, and after gynaecological cancer treatment,
- to educate women about gynaecological cancers, their risk factors, prevention, and early detection.
The association accomplishes our goals through a number of activities described below
- The conference “Ovarian Cancer - How to Live with It?”, organized every year since 2016 on 8 May which is the World Ovarian Cancer Day. Its purpose is to educate women about various aspects of gynaecological cancers, ranging from prevention, through treatment methods, to the psychological aspects of the disease.
- Educational campaign in cooperation with the Helios cinema before film shows as part of the "Women's Cinema.”
- Meetings organized jointly with the National Health Fund to educate the population of Bialystok about gynaecological cancers.
- Participation in “Cancer Is not a Death Sentence” marches and other city festivals.
Projects for patients during gynaecological cancer treatment
Eurydyki operates at the University Oncology Centre (UOC) whose medical staff cooperates with the association and supports its activities. The projects very often (but not only) affect patients in this specific centre.
- In 2019 the Eurydyki Association started a project "Share a Holiday Book" in which sharing the books and DVDs would allow to create a small library for patients. The action was advertised in the press, television, and social media and the response was overwhelming. The association received hundreds of books, both from individuals and from publishers, and have purchased several portable DVD players. The project enabled the patients to read books and to watch films during their stay in the oncology centre.
- In January 2020 we organized “Share Your Femininity” event. Under this ambiguous slogan, many colourful scarves and headscarves were collected from all over Poland thanks to campaign media support. After the scarves are sorted by type, design, and colour, beautiful headgears for women undergoing chemotherapy will be sewed by the dressmakers.
- Twice a week Eurydyki volunteers visit the UOC to talk with patients about their experiences related to diagnosis and treatment.
- Polish government allows taxpayers to designate 1% of their taxes to a charitable organization of their choice. With funds that the Eurydyki Association receives from this source, special pillows and appliances, such as a fridge, kettle, and a microwave oven were bought to make the patients, especially those who undergo chemotherapy, feel somewhat at home during their hospital stay.
- Special events for the UOC patients, such as decorating Christmas trees are organized to allow the patients to take the disease off their mind.
Projects for patients after treatment
We stay in touch with patients after treatment. Several of our projects focus on providing our patients and their relatives with post-treatment mental support and education focusing on lifestyle changes and awareness of how to take care of themselves.
- Psychological and dietary workshops “How to Effectively Increase Your Own Value? Understand Emotions and Feelings."
- Educational workshops "I Examine Myself. I Am Sure.", where we learn how to take care of our own health, e.g., how to perform breast self-examination.
- Support groups meetings like bonfire or cinema outings.
- Monthly meetings of the association that provide patients with the opportunity to talk with each other and exchange experiences.
CERVICAL CANCER PREVENTION WEEK – OLIJFS IN THE NEWS
Article ‘A smart girl will do her screening on time’! on the importance of the cervical screening is here:
Wendy, volunteer for Olijf, tells about how cervical cancer was discovered during her screening.
The article ‘The number of women that takes part in the screening for cervical cancer does not increase’:
Olijf talks about the importance of HPV vaccinations and cervical screening.
‘Only 6 out of 10 women takes part in the cervical cancer screening’
Olijf explains that especially women between the age of 35 and 50 participate less in the cervical cancer screening.
‘Kim had cervical cancer; now it is a matter of dealing with your new health’
Kim, volunteer of Olijf, talks about the severeness of cervical cancer treatment and the late effects. She also shares the importance of sharing your story and experiences with other survivors.
Wendy, volunteer of Olijf, talks in the popular magazine about being diagnosed with cervical cancer and the reocurrence of the tumor, after which her vagina, anus, bladder, overies and part of her colon were removed.