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The Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria and Foundation One of 8 Visited UMHAT "St. Marina" and Talked about Breast Cancer

 The Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria Ms. Maya Manolova and the pink camper of One of 8 Nana Gladwish Foundation visited University Hospital "St. Marina". The  new project of the Foundation was presented at a round table, and specialists from the hospital spoke openly about the problems of breast cancer patients, and about the modern diagnostics and the adequate and quality treatment provided by the hospital.

Vera Nikolova from One of 8 Nana Gladwish Foundation talked about "Bosom Girlfriends" project: "The campaign aims at bringing the  activities of the Foundation out of Sofia to 25 cities in the country for the time being. We are doing this because we believe that women need to talk about the stages they are going through. Now we are distributing brochures on different topics about all treatment-related issues - chemotherapy, how to read epicrisis, what they should tell their children. There is a psychologist with us, who performs both individual and group psychological consultations. Moreover, we have a coach, art therapist, make-up artist, culinary blogger, who talks about healthy way of eating. We talk about how we have gone through the disease, how to overcome the consequences of chemotherapy more easily. We do not speak like doctors, but as people who go on their lives with this diagnosis, and thus we help them. The interest is really great. I would like to express my special gratitude to the team of Dr. Chaushev from University Hospital "St. Marina" because thanks to them I look and feel well today".

Prof. Radoslav Radev, head of the Chest Surgery Clinic, elaborated on the stages of breast cancer treatment. He underlined that the hospital has the most state-of-the-art equipment and the best specialists and has the capacity to cover the entire cycle of disease detection to its treatment so that patients do not need to seek help from elsewhere for the subsequent stages of the treatment.

 "St. Marina" provides complete diagnostics - invasive and non-invasive, it has an Oncology Committee which decides what the sequence of treatment actions should be. The next step is surgery treatment, which is strictly individual for each patient - in some patients the removal of the entire breast is necessary, in others - only a part of it, and in a third group – a plastic surgery intervention is also necessary, which we can perform as well, because in this way we help patients raise their self-esteem. This means that we launch what you, from the Foundation, continue later, because it is extremely important whether the patient leaves the hospital full of faith or not. The role of the chemotherapist is also of great significance, because she is the one who does not waste the expensive materials but uses the most suitable ones for the patient. So is the role of the radiotherapist. At the moment there is no other similar equipment in Bulgaria. Women do not need to pay huge sums of money for treatment abroad because we have the same good equipment, and the treatment provided through that equipment is absolutely free for the patients," Prof. Radev explained.

The hospital provides a complete oncology treatment for the citizens - diagnosis of breast cancer, using the most advanced high-tech methods, including PET-CT scanner available at the hospital and the latest model mammographic and ultrasound equipment, purchased by the hospital and MU-Varna less than a month ago. It allows three-dimensional visualization of the mammary gland, an opportunity to determine the density and blood supply, the involvement of the surrounding tissues and lymph structures in this area. This is the last model of this type of  equipment, and there is no similar equipment in Bulgaria. It allows for the imaging of the mammary gland, regardless of age, number of tests, safety. Prof. Radev emphasized that the different and  extremely valuable asset of University Hospital "St. Marina" is the fact that they have the opportunity to produce the isotope by themselves, which helps them work much faster and safer.

The Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ms. Maya Manolova, urged all women to find time for prophylactic screening. "I am here to support the battle of "One of 8" with breast cancer. I feel a very deep respect to what they are doing because they have chosen the most difficult part of this battle - to inspire courage, strength, confidence, audacity in women with cancer. I am aware what it means to hear the diagnosis and the horror they all go through at least in the beginning. Hence it is extremely important to feel the support not only of your loved ones but also of the people who have already gone through the disease. I think that we should speak about cancer openly, that we ought to save the people suffering from this disease. Some of them often worry about sharing this. I myself hesitated for a long time as well, but I have decided that I must talk because it is crucial for all women who are struggling with the disease. I am ready to get committed to the organisation of breast cancer screening so that a maximum number of women to be able  to undergo this prophylaxis. It is of vital importance for women to be aware that the 15 minutes they need to spend on prophylactic tests can really save their lives."