Situation in Place
“The complexity of Jewish women's lives today, influences their ability to engage in even essential self-care”, says Sara Siemiatycki, Founder of our partner organisation Bishvilaych. “The numerous responsibilities of work, family, home, and community as well as individual and cultural sensitivities often make accurate information gathering, check-ups, screenings, and medical follow-ups difficult or unfeasible. With regards to breast cancer the greatest challenge is that of fear: Women fear that any cancer will cause them to die. Bishvilaych has recognized the need to normalize the topic and speak about breast health in general and not focus exclusively on breast cancer”. Quoting Sara Siemiatycki further: “We have succeeded in reaching out to women and discuss this topic openly and promote adherence to screening tests and self-breast examinations.
The second challenge is that the system relies on mammography as the only tool for the screening of breast cancer, implicitly playing down the importance and responsibility of self-breast health awareness for women. Within the DearMamma campaign, we try to establish breast health awareness for the Charedi population by educating and empowering each woman to be aware of her responsibility of self-breast health awareness monthly, and, going to the doctor yearly, from the age of 20, and to make a personalized risk assessment for screening protocols."