Half of women skip breast cancer screening checks

Pink Ribbon Run 2019.
Pink Ribbon Run 2019. Source: ERR

In Estonia almost every other woman skips a cancer check-up, but the Pink Ribbon Run which took place on Saturday in Tallinn aimed to raise awareness among women of the importance of breast cancer screening.

Around 750 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year in Estonia. Screening could reduce breast cancer mortality by a third, but only if at least seven of the ten women invited for checks undergo them, Aktuaalne kaamera reported on Saturday.

To spread the message, runners at Rocca al Mare's charity Pink Ribbon Run on Saturday defied strong winds and rain.

Although the Pink Ribbon campaign focuses on women's fight against breast cancer, there were many men among the runners. Sven, who ran ten kilometers, said there is nothing strange about men taking part because men must support and encourage women. Sven said there should be similar campaign events targetted at men.

Riina Kütner, an oncologist at North Estonia Regional Hospital, stressed that since early breast cancer does not have any symptoms, screening is a good way to detect the disease early.

She said the screening rate was too low and encouraged women to get themselves checked. Women aged between 50-69 should undergo breast cancer screening.

In Estonia, a situation has arisen where younger women are more likely to check their health, but older women who are at greater risk of becoming ill are not.

"I also want to remind older ladies that cancer does not stop at the age of 69. Still, the risk increases as we get older, and we also operate on women over 80 and 90. In that sense, don't think "I'm too old this isn't for me"," Kütner said.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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