Breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in women and the second most common cancer overall. 1 out of 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, and 1 out of 1000 men too. We did the math and calculated that at Barco, that would be 127 female and 3 male colleagues. These are big numbers that need attention, because the impact of breast cancer is major and goes beyond physical suffering.
That’s why each year, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The annual campaign raises awareness of the second most common type of cancer worldwide – and the most common one amongst women. Throughout October, people around the world share their stories, show their support and inform others that getting regular screenings can save lives.
Even though breast cancer still strikes many women and men worldwide, we can see a positive evolution. During the last 2 decennia, there has been a significant drop in breast cancer cases, especially in white women older than 50.
There is also a general positive trend in how many men and women survive breast cancer. More and more people get access to medical care, and thanks to awareness actions, more cancers are discovered at an early stage. According to the World Cancer Research Fund, “in many countries the 5-year survival rate for women diagnosed with stage I/II (small tumours or limited local spread to nodes under the arm) breast cancer is 80–90 per cent.” Still, for larger tumors these numbers are significantly lower.
So it remains important to stress that preventive screenings can lead to early diagnosis, which is key to fighting the disease before it gets the chance to develop. As the World Health Organization states: “In order to improve breast cancer outcomes and survival, early detection is critical.”
Encouraging people to get regular screenings for early detection is one thing. But there are heroes behind every hero fighting cancer: nurses, doctors, breast radiologists, ... If they have the right tools at their disposal, they too can contribute to get the number and seriousness of breast cancers down.
At Barco, we keep investing in technology to support breast cancer clinicians in the best way we can: by researching radiological visualization and turning that into medical imaging solutions, such as displays dedicated to mammography and useful tools to make them easy to work with.
Our daily goal is to back the heroes behind every hero fighting cancer, and bring hope to their patients. As our Senior VP and General Manager Filip Pintelon says, "we don’t measure success by how advanced devices are, but in which way we can help the practitioners in the field be more productive, be more efficient, be more accurate in their way of working.” So they can make life-changing – and at times, life-saving – decisions for their patients.