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The Bread Exam: How Learning to Bake Bread Can Save Your Life

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The Bread Exam from British Islamic Medical Association and McCann Health has been developed to help tackle cultural taboos relating to intimate parts of the body 

The Bread Exam: How Learning to Bake Bread Can Save Your Life

To coincide with World Cancer Day, famous influencers from three countries have joined forces to launch 'The Bread Exam,', a campaign that uses bread kneading to show women exactly how-to self-check their breasts to help detect early signs of breast cancer.

Launched by the British Islamic Medical Association and McCann Health in the UK, 'The Bread Exam' has been developed to help tackle cultural taboos relating to intimate parts of the body. These cultural taboos can prevent women from going to the doctor and even discussing the subject or conducting self examination. Using the same simple gestures used to prepare bread dough, 'The Bread Exam' teaches women how to perform self-checks and detect early signs of breast cancer.

The campaign – created by McCann Paris – was originally launched in Lebanon by the Lebanese Breast Cancer Foundation, with Chef Um Ali creating the first version of 'The Bread Exam'.

For World Cancer Day, three famous influencers from Turkey, UK and Germany – countries with large Muslim communities – joined forces with local NGOs to create their own versions of “The Bread Exam”.

Influencer Bread Exam video in Turkey

Influencer Bread Exam in Germany

In the UK, 2017 MasterChef winner, doctor, chef and influencer Dr Saliha Mahmood Ahmed has created her own version of 'The Bread Exam'  

The NGOs behind the campaign: the British Islamic Medical Association, the Lebanese Breast Cancer Foundation (LBCF), American University of Beirut Medical Center, Deutche Krebshilfe in Germany.

Salman Waqar, general secretary from the British Islamic Medical Association, said; “Around a quarter of breast cancer cases are preventable in the UK, thanks to early detection and screening. Sadly, the Muslim community in the UK have lower rates of breast screening than average. Ethnic minority communities also have a poorer rate of survival after being diagnosed with breast cancer. “The Bread Exam” is an innovative tool to help address these inequalities by taking our health into our hands, as we learn how to monitor for worrying changes and when to seek help. By increasing breast cancer awareness, we will help save lives.”

Recent research has revealed that cancer awareness is particularly low amongst the Muslim community in the UK, as demonstrated by minimal uptake levels for breast screening. 

Mirna Hobballah, vice-president of the Lebanese Breast Cancer foundation, said: “In order to reach women facing this situation in the Middle East and not only, we wanted to avoid the taboo of talking about intimate body parts or exposing them by going to health specialists for a first check-up. Since many households bake their own bread and are interested in this subject - especially now, during the Covid 19 pandemic - we decided to use baking bread as a euphemism and talk to women about baking bread instead of talking about breasts, self-examination or cancer.”

Dr Saliha Mahmood Ahmed said: “We created ‘The Bread Exam’ to give women a tool to visually demonstrate how they should check their breasts for new or unusual changes. I hope “The Bread Exam” provides some reassurance and shows the simplicity of self-checking. All the movements performed as part of “The Bread Exam” are designed to detect any changes in breast tissue and I hope the tutorial helps women detect early signs of breast cancer and seek help from their GP as soon as possible if they notice anything unusual.”

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Executive Creative Director: Cédric Astrella

Executive Creative Director: Sebastien Boutebel

Chief Creative Officer McCann Europe: Adrian Botan

Creative Excellence Manager McCann Europe: Carmen Bistrian

Director of Communications, UK & Europe: Jessica Bayat

Creative Director: Guy Lewis

Associate Creative Director: Mateo Fernandez

Art Director: Sonia Presne

Art Director: Flora Sagnes

Copywriter: Anne-Sophie Guerin

Copywriter: Farah El Feghali

Copywriter: Benjamin Homsy

Motion Designer: Etienne Philippe, Karim Victorin

VP, Global Business Leader: Cédric Vanhoutte

Account Director: Nathalie Maisonnave

Account Manager: Salomé Lhote, Camille Ghossein

Deputy General Manager in charge of Strategy: Erik Bertin

Strategic Planners: Tugce Sezer, Minerva Sosa Soria

Head of digital : Pierre-Jean Bernard

Community Manager : Jessica Mezoela

TV producers: Arnaud Lemens, Matthieu Tombarelle

Post producer: Caroline De Génis

Sound producer: Isabelle Crechet

Production Agency 

Production Agency: Satellite My Love

Executive Producer: Alain Dib

Associate Producer: Omar Cabbabe

Film Director: Danielle Rizhalla

PR Agency 

PR Agency : Weber Shandwick France

CEO: Eloi Asseline

Senior Strategist: Jean Paoli

Strategist: Elise Décultot

PR Senior Manager: Deborah Guepey 

Sound Production

Sound Production: Octopus Productions

Producer: Claire Paillot

Sound Engineer: Olivier Vehert

Production coordinator and President of Slow Food Beirut : Barbara Massaad

PR Agency Lebanon

PR Agency Lebanon: Rowat Public Relations (RPR)

Managing partner: Mark Daou

Media Relations Director: Ms Eliane Sahyoun

Influencer relations manager : Raya Boutros

Account executive: Jad Oueini


CCO McCANN Worldgroup Germany: Götz UImer

McCANN Worldgroup Germany: Jerome Cholet 

McCANN Worldgroup Germany: Karin Stelzner

CRAFT Germany: Michael Koch 

CRAFT Germany: Matthias Miemczyk

Reachbird: Julien Stiefvater

Reachbird: Selin Wendel 

Deutsche Krebshilfe: Sabine Boos

Deutsche Krebshilfe: Marcus von Husen 


GP and General Secretary of the British Islamic Medical Association: Dr Salman Waqar

ECD: Guy Swimer

Creative: Sakeena Amjad

Account Lead: Damielle Robertson

Strategy Director: Parrus Doshi

Project Lead:  Kathrine Bradley


Director, Client Experience: Aycin Noyan

Account Director, Client Experience: Hande Hazinedaroglu

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Genres: People

Categories: Health, Corporate, Social and PSAs

McCann Health, Thu, 04 Feb 2021 15:32:17 GMT