Health without prejudices: How to examine yourself

Prevention comes first. That is the philosophy of nonprofit organisation Loono, which presented itself to the public on 30 January 2017 during a workshop named #prsakoule (#breastsandballs). The Bakala Foundation’s Student Hub welcomed about two dozen mostly young people who wished to learn how to recognise the signs of breast cancer, testicular cancer and other forms of cancer and also obtain information on where and how to have a preventative check-up and who to visit should something seem amiss.

The aim of Loono and its founder Kateřina Vacková, a sixth year medical student and Harvard Medical School candidate, is to above all motivate young people to start thinking about their health in good time. In particular the event was meant to teach attendees to self-examine every month. Kateřina’s experienced colleagues from Loono stood in for her as she was unable to attend the workshop for health reasons. “The trouble with cancer is that it usually causes no pain in the early stages,”said one of the colleagues, fellow medical student Marianna Retiová. She made sure to stress the importance of preventative check-ups.

The presentation included practical demonstrations of ways to examine testes and breasts. The demonstrations were conducted regardless of the participants’ gender – no less than 30 percent of all cases of cancer affecting one of these organs are discovered by affected persons’ partners, meaning there is a clear case for mutual examinations. And what should one do if something unusual is detected? “Do not panic. Do not feel ashamed. Do not search for advice on the internet but instead visit your physician as soon as possible,” Loono advises.