Pr campaign for the Belgian Society of Pathology


Cervical cancer screening: advocating for co-testing

Pr campaign for the Belgian Society of Pathology

As of 2024, Belgium will be switching from cytology to HPV as primary screening method for cervical cancer among women aged between 30 and 65. However, a group of leading Belgian pathologists, as well as prominent specialists from other medical fields, are critical of this switch, as they believe it is based on evidence that is obsolete and irrelevant with regard to the specific situation in Belgium, where a world class, cytology-based screening program is already in place.

More cancers at a higher cost

Switching from the current, highly performant model to HPV primary screening, they argue, will therefore not be beneficial for our country. Quite the opposite: it will lead to more undetected cancers, notably in later stages, but also more ‘false positives’, meaning more casualties and higher costs - not to mention the operational impact. What makes the switch all the more questionable, is the fact that in co-testing, a viable and proven alternative is available. As shown by a new study, specifically based on the situation in Belgium, this combined method (cytology + HPV) will lead to more and earlier detected (pre-)cancers, at a lower price per lesion.

Publicly making the case for co-testing

Enter: Evoke, to translate this highly complex matter into something clear and understandable, in order to publicly make the case for co-testing and create awareness on this issue which affects not only all women in Belgium but also our public finances and thus every taxpayer.  Following a deep dive into the subject, we wrote an open letter (published on RTBF) and a press release, and we organised plenty of interviews. As a result, pretty much every national media outlet covered the topic: Het Laatste Nieuws, Het Nieuwsblad, De Morgen, Le Soir, La Dernière Heure, La Libre Belgique and RTL Info, as well as MediQuality, Medi-sphère and Le Spécialiste.

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