Speech on the occasion of the Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Thousands of grandmothers, mothers, and daughters fall victim to breast cancer every year.  Europeans in particular are affected by this disease as the most common cancer of European women is breast cancer, with an estimated 430,000 new cases diagnosed every year.  The first step to combat this terrible disease is awareness.  This month, Europeans must focus on early detection as the primary means of prevention.  The Unites States for example are surpassing us in this respect, as early detection in the USA is higher than that in Europe.  In fact, 41% of American cases were diagnosed at an early stage, compared to just 29% in Europe.  However, one in ten women in the EU will develop breast cancer before she reaches 80 years of age as well as every 2.5 minutes another woman is diagnosed with breast cancer.  The harsh reality of breast cancer results in a woman every 7.5 minutes dying of the disease.   In Europe, 132,000 women died of breast cancer in 2006 proving the severity which requires immediate action.  This October the measures to increase breast cancer awareness, early detection and prevention, must come from all levels of decision-making.  We, as European women, can fight this disease through physical activity, a healthy diet and self examination.