The health campaign features boxes of chocolates called “Boobies,” which include eight pralines. One of the chocolates, however, contains an unpleasant surprise. They are meant to represent the unexpectedness of breast cancer--one out of eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. The Boobies are being distributed at various events throughout the month, including Mantelsonndeg in Luxembourg City on 23 October.
Early diagnosis of breast cancer can only be done with mammography screenings, said the health ministry. Programme Mammographie is Luxembourg’s national breast cancer screening programme, which targets all women aged between 50 and 70 who are affiliated with the CNS. It recommends that they get a mammogram every two years to look for early signs of breast cancer. Under the programme, mammograms are free of charge.
Behind the campaign
“Our idea behind the campaign was to find a way to make going to a mammogram less of a burden,” said Carole Retter, partner at the communication agency Moskito, which collaborated with the ministry on the campaign’s development. “We wanted to show that really it should just be on every woman’s to-do list, [starting from] a certain age. And it should not be a taboo, but something women are proud to say that they are doing.”
Moskito worked together with the agency Dividante to produce a video featuring health minister Paulette Lenert going about a daily check list, which includes booking an appointment for a mammogram.
With the chocolate Boobies, “we wanted to add the positivity factor to the concept. And what is more positive than chocolate?” Retter added.
Sonia Hoffmann, Ben Olinger, Jil Fischer, Maë Sistermann and Zoé Arens from Moskito worked on the campaign. In addition, the chocolates, produced by Chocolate House Luxembourg, are labelled “Made in Luxembourg,” highlighting the local nature of the Boobies.
Long waiting times
However, as noted by MP Jeff Engelen (ADR) during a parliamentary question from May 2022, it can take up to 18 months to get an appointment for a mammography. In response, minister of social security Claude Haagen, replying also on behalf of Lenert, explained that extreme delay only applies to non-urgent cases outside the mammography programme. Moreover, cases in which the physician justifies the urgency are always treated as a priority.
Although rare, men and younger women can also develop breast cancer, a fact that should not be forgotten during Pink October.
According to the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg, between 400 and 450 women in Luxembourg are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. In fact, breast cancer remains the highest cause of cancer-related deaths for women, with an annual average of 82 deaths during the period from 2002 to 2016. You can schedule your mammogram here.
Edited 20 October to clarify that Programme Mammographie targets women who are affiliated with Luxembourg’s CNS.