Introducing Leaders of the REBECCA Project. Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2023 Campaign
Annually, October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to focus on crucial awareness. It is a global movement rooted in unity and support for those affected by breast cancer. The history of this month-long endeavour is a testament to the power of community and advocacy.
Since its beginnings in the early 1980s, Breast Cancer Awareness Month has grown into a global annual initiative. During this important month, the EU collaborates with healthcare organisations to launch campaigns dedicated to prevention, early detection, and treatment. These efforts include a wide range of educational resources and expert-led discussions.
Cancer is a shared experience that touches each of us in some way. In 2020, the European Union bore witness to 2.7 million individuals receiving a cancer diagnosis, with another 1.3 million sadly succumbing to the disease. Beyond patients, cancer’s profound effects ripple through the lives of their loved ones and friends.
The European Union has dedicated decades to combatting cancer, and its endeavours, such as tobacco control and safeguarding against dangerous substances, that have saved and extended lives. Nevertheless, before ‘Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan’ was published, the latest European action plan against cancer was formulated in the early 1990s. Since then, significant advancements in cancer treatment have occurred globally in the years since.
As a result, the EU formulated the ‘Mission on Cancer’ and ‘The Beating Cancer Plan’ representing the European Union’s response to address these requirements. It signifies a political dedication to spare no effort in combating cancer, leveraging the collective strength of the EU to initiate positive transformations for the EU’s citizens. Through a technology, research, and innovation-based approach, the latter initiative is intended to tackle the full disease pathway. As a supporting ambition to the said Plan, The Mission on Cancer puts efforts into prevention, cure, and a longer and better life quality for patients and their loved ones. Together, these EU initiatives encompass tangible, ambitious measures aimed at aiding, coordinating, and enhancing Member States’ initiatives to alleviate the hardships brought about by cancer.
In breast cancer, survival rates significantly hinge on early detection. Hence, it’s imperative for all women to practice breast cancer awareness ―being aware of common symptoms and identifying them – and for those in targeted groups to participate in top-tier, organised screening programmes.
Effective breast cancer treatment can yield positive outcomes, especially with early identification.
REBECCA, as a scientifically-driven technology initiative, dedicated to aiding patients in their post-cancer treatment, aligns itself with this cause. In tandem with the broader awareness campaign, we kicked off our own social media initiative throughout October.
At its core, REBECCA is about people – patients and their experiences and this month, we have the privilege of hearing from REBECCA leaders who have graciously provided their insights. Their quotes shed light on the profound impact of their work on the lives of those affected by breast cancer.
Throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month, those quotes were shared on our social media channels along with other captivating information. Together, we’re not only raising awareness but fostering understanding and paving a path towards enhanced lives for citizens and patients alike.
One of the REBECCA leaders is Prof. Anastasios Delopoulos, the REBECCA Coordinator. He is a distinguished academic specialising in multimedia data understanding, learning, and computer vision. With over 90 published scientific papers and extensive involvement in European and National R&D projects, he currently serves as a Professor of Multimedia Systems at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, overseeing groundbreaking initiatives in health, education, and entertainment sectors.