DEKA's News

February 6, 2018

Introducing “MonaLisa Care”: helping women suffering from breast cancer

Restoring a little peace in the lives of women fighting against breast tumours. That is the aim of the MonaLisa Care project, launched (with support from the Angela Serra cancer research association) by a team headed by Giovanni Tazzioli of the Senology Pathway at Modena University Hospital (Italy) and by Ezio Bergamini (Regional Secretary of the Emilia Romagna branch of AOGOI). The project provides women in medically-induced menopause following oncological therapy, with free MonaLisa Touch laser treatment – the most effective non-surgical and non-pharmacological solution for preventing and treating vaginal atrophy and its consequences.

During the first phase of the project, the Angela Serra research association recruited patients being treated by the Tazzioli team at Modena University Hospital. In the second phase, Obstetrics and Gynaecology specialist Carla Bertani, supported by Giulia Pedrielli, held interviews, pre-treatment sessions and performed tests on selected patients whom she will be offering the three MonaLisa Touch sessions free of charge. They will take place at Dr. Bergamini’s surgery, which will be providing the use of premises, staff and equipment.

Ezio Bergamini commented: "As Regional Secretary of AOGOI and with the approval of the Board, I am proud to be able to help out with this project. Our Association has always been committed to women’s wellbeing, offering a series of preventative initiatives and practices. Without doubt, this is a fine example of activities to help women, particularly those affected by a serious disease that not only creates health problems, but also affects the sexuality and relationship sphere.”

The Angela Serra Association was set up to help encourage prevention, as well as to support oncology studies and research. For some years now, the Association has been promoting an initiative known as Dalla Cura al Prendersi cura (“From being looked after to looking after oneself”), which provides assistance for cancer patients, helping to alleviate the signs and symptoms that occur during illness and treatment, by offering heated saltwater pool, reflexology, yoga and gentle gymnastics sessions, as well as introducing them to expert beauticians and hairdressers. The Managing Board of the Angela Serra non-profit association declared: “This partnership with the Modena Oncological Centre and with Dr. Bergamini’s team to help women suffering from breast cancer, is a new opportunity for us to promote and support the importance of psycho-physical well-being for patients fighting cancer.”

Indeed, women undergoing cancer treatment, as well as during menopause or breastfeeding, show a significant decline in oestrogen. This can cause atrophic vaginitis: a lack of nourishment and hydration of the cells of the vaginal mucosa that leads to vaginal dryness, burning, constant discomfort and pain during sexual intercourse, which can in turn affect the patient’s relationships and sense of worth.

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