Breast cancer patients have a basic right to the best possible care. Think Pink is committed to improve treatment, information, care and aftercare. The financial impact of breast cancer on patients and families is also of particular importance to us.
Round Table Conference on Breast Cancer
How do we try to reach our goals? Think Pink has already organised two Round Table Conferences on Breast Cancer. The most recent one took place on the 8th of October 2019 in Brussels. About thirty important stakeholders discussed different items in order to set priorities for the years to come. Amongst the participants were researchers, oncologists, radiologists, nurses, government institutions, the insurance sector and the pharmaceutical industry.
They put forward 9 clear priorities:
- Breast cancer treatments are only possible and reimbursed in approved Breast Clinics.
- The official screening programs (population screening) are promoted more actively and must reach a higher than European average level, pending the revision of the relevant guidelines.
- Patients with a high medical need must have access to innovative medicines, reimbursed via a fast track and pay-for-performance system.
- Real world data on breast cancer must be readily available for policy decisions and research. Permanent registration of relapse is a must.
- Thanks to the Think Pink Guide app and the Think Pink book, patients are better equipped to process all information before, during and after their treatment.
- Thanks to additional research, we must be able to more objectively assess the social and psychological needs of breast cancer patients.
- Scalp cooling is used more specifically and partially reimbursed, as an alternative to the reimbursement of a wig.
- Gene expression tests that allow doctors to evaluate, in advance, the added value of chemo will now be reimbursed.
- Annual evaluation monitors the progress of the Breast Cancer Action Plan, which includes regular consultations with the competent ministers.
Think Pink sits in on many working groups, both at regional and national level. This way we can communicate our priorities to policy makers and we can actively help to realize certain dossiers that are important to fellow-sufferers. In that context, Think Pink also organises regular consultations and contacts with the various cabinets of the competent ministers.
Examples of our actions are the reimbursement files at the RIZIV, screening campaigns organised by the regional authorities, adjustments to insurance legislation and many other policy proposals that we consider important to fellow-sufferers and the people around them.
Campaigns and media
Think Pink regularly organises specific campaigns via the media or together with partners. In 2019, there was a campaign sponsored by Roche and Tempo-Team during which we handed out more than 100,000 pralines shaped like breasts at 17 different locations throughout the country. The goal of these campaigns is to encourage women to attend breast cancer screening.
Thanks to the Smurfette campaign, a large-scale campaign set up in collaboration with more than 150 cities in Wallonia and Brussels in the fall of 2018 and 2019, we encourage timely screening.