Steward Health Care Malta celebrates Pink October with activities for Breast Cancer awareness
7 November 2022 – Throughout October, which was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Steward Health Care Malta (SHCM) organised a series of activities at Gozo General Hospital (GGH) as part of Pink October, during which healthcare workers and the public could obtain correct information on breast care and learn about what support is available to women diagnosed with breast cancer.
A seminar organised for healthcare workers titled “Closing the care gap” was held on 8 October, aimed at helping healthcare workers decrease the period between the recommended treatment journey for a particular patient and the treatment that is given to the patient.
Bake sale at GGH in aid of Europa Donna Malta on 20 October
In addition, Gozo General Hospital (GGH) staff members organised a plant and bake sale on 20 October in the Outpatients foyer at GGH. All funds were donated to local breast cancer support group Europa Donna Malta.
This was followed by a separate informative event which was open to anyone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, titled “Supporting each other together.” This seminar was held on 22 October at the Queen Mary University of London’s Gozo Campus. The attendees were given presentations about various topics including role of occupational therapy, an aromatherapy session, self-care session, importance of exercise in cancer, and sexuality and cancer. All those present also participated in a Pilates class.
The multidisciplinary breast care team at GGH is comprised of Josianne Bicker, senior breast practice nurse at GGH, physiotherapists Dr. Suzanne Vella and Josette Pace, psychologist Dr Pamela Portelli, radiographer Josianne Buttigieg, and staff nurse Josephine Bartolo.
Seminar on 22 October titled ‘Supporting each other together’ for breast cancer patients
Ms Bicker said: “Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women in Malta and affects around 300 women each year. Our mission throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month was to encourage women to become self-aware of their bodies no matter their age and to check themselves for lumps or other symptoms. Throughout the events, the emphasis was on support groups we have in the Maltese Islands and what services are offered to patients.”
“During these events, it was also highlighted that women over 50 years of age should not miss their breast screening appointment and the public was also informed of what breast care services are offered by our multidisciplinary breast care team. It was encouraging to see so many staff and members of the public attend the two informative seminars on the subject, both of which covered distinct aspects of breast cancer awareness,” she added.
Throughout October, informative leaflets were also made available at GGH with useful tips on breast care in Malta, self-examinations, local support groups, and healthcare services available to women.