Blind Women Lend a Hand in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

A team from our German offices provided social enterprise Discovering Hands® with comprehensive legal advice to help them to grow their business. Discovering Hands® trains blind women to become Medical Tactile Examiners (MTEs), as their superior sensitive touch gives them a higher precision rate, enabling them to detect breast cancer earlier than the average doctor.

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer for women between the ages of 25 and 74, yet breast cancer screening in Germany is often an impersonal and stressful experience, resulting in many women choosing not to undergo preventative diagnosis. Consequently, Germany has the lowest participation for breast cancer screening in Europe. As early diagnosis is crucial in the fight against breast cancer, Discovering Hands® recognized that the existing system required new resources and cost efficient processes to offer another option to German women.

Blind people are widely neglected in the German labor market -— there are around 1.2 million visually impaired people in Germany, yet only 30% of those of an employable age actually work. Discovering Hands® has found that the superior sense of touch of blind women has resulted in them becoming very effective MTEs; the first scientific study has shown that in 450 cases, MTEs found more and smaller tumours than doctors. The 30-minute examination, as compared to the usual 3-minute exam, also gives women more time to ask questions and be reassured that they are healthy.

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