In march, focus on endometriosis!
Ahead of World Endometriosis Awareness Day on March 28 that is the culmination of Endometriosis Awareness Month, the Brussels University Hospital (H.U.B.) - of which the Erasmus Hospital and its Endometriosis Clinic are a part - is putting the spotlight on this chronic disease that affect more than 1 in 10 women. A genuine public health challenge both in terms of the number of women suffering from the disease and the costs engendered by what is often a medical marathon.
An odyssey of between seven and twelve years before diagnosis: a genuine public health challenge
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to endometrial tissue is present outside the uterus, causing pain in 80% of women with the condition and the risk of infertility in between 30% and 50% of cases. Because the pain recurs monthly at the time of menstruation (dysmenorrhea), endometriosis is considered to be a chronic disease. It affects between 10% and 15% of women of reproductive age. Worldwide, 180 million women suffer from endometriosis. A major problem is that diagnosis can take between 7 and 12 years. This delay in diagnosis and thus in commencing effective treatment can compromise the quality of life and fertility of these women. The costs in terms of public health are also considerable due to this "medical marathon" with its multitude of examinations and treatments but also the resultant absenteeism from school or work. Endometriosis is therefore a major issue for public health.
Reference centres, multidisciplinarity and transmission of knowledge to arrive at an earlier diagnosis
The Endometriosis Clinic at the Erasmus Hospital, a part of Brussels University Hospital (H.U.B.), constitutes a response to this protracted search for a diagnosis and to the need for adapted, multidisciplinary treatment. The team at the Endometriosis Clinic is made up of experts in gynaecology and obstetrics (specialists in endometriosis surgery and fertility), medical and surgical gastroenterology, urology, anatomical pathology, algology, medical imaging and nuclear medicine as well as a specialised paramedical staff of nurses, psychologists, sexotherapists, physiotherapists and practitioners of complementary therapies. In addition, for effective treatment of period pains and infertility problems, the Endometriosis Clinic works in close cooperation with the Multidisciplinary Centre for the Evaluation and Treatment of Pain (CMETD) and the Fertility Clinic, both recognised institutions within the Erasmus Hospital. It is the wealth of this expertise, cooperation and interactions that permits an adapted response to women with endometriosis. The development and transmission of knowledge on endometriosis is also a key factor. In fact, strengthening the teaching supports available to generalists and gynaecologists while at the same time promoting the development of quality criteria and national recommendations are essential to improved treatment within the reference centres. Association “Toi Mon Endo”, assisted by the H.U.B. Endometriosis Clinic, have submitted proposals to this effect to the KCE (Belgian Health Care Knowledge Centre) that intends to continue to act in the interests of all patients affected by this debilitating disease.
Actions and events to increase awareness during the month of March
The month of March, culminating in World Endometriosis Day on 28 March, is the occasion to focus firmly on this disease. A genuine challenge for public health, there is a need both to be able to diagnose endometriosis as early as possible to avoid risks of complications and also to encourage the drawing up of new treatment guidelines.
With this in view, during March the Endometriosis Clinic is organising and participating in a number of events:
- On 6 March, the ULB Circle of Medicine, together with the Endometriosis Clinic and the "Toi Mon Endo" non-profit organisation, are organising an awareness day on the Solbosch campus. More information is available at : https://fb.me/e/486y0lfVw and @cercle_medecine_ulb
- On 24 and 25 March, an event dedicated to professionals: the Endometriosis Congress organised by the CRGOLFB (Collège Royal des gynécologues obstétriciens de langue française de Belgique), with the participation of the Endometriosis Clinic. More info at: https://www.crgolfb.be/fr
- During the week of 27 March, a fresco on the endometriosis challenge by the artist Juan Mendez will be exhibited at the Erasmus Hospital with the option to inscribe a symbolic word in support of the fight against endometriosis. The association "Toi Mon Endo" will also be present to inform patients, families, friends and collaborators about endometriosis. Make it a date: the Erasmus Hospital lobby from Monday 27 to Friday 31 March!
- 28 March at 6.30 pm, screening of the documentary film "Below the Belt", produced by Hillary Clinton, at "The Palace" cinema Brussels (paid admission to support the "Toi Mon Endo" association). An avant-première co-organised by "Toi Mon Endo" and the COCOF (French Community Commission), with the participation of the Endometriosis Clinic. More info at: www.toimonendo.com.