Thursday, October 28, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Philippines tolled highest in number of patients with breast cancer all over Asia. Accordingly, cancer is one of the top 3 causes of death in the Philippines with low survival rates because patients usually receive medical attention in advanced stages. Lung, breast and liver cancer were the most common types observed locally.

Photo courtesy of Cebu Cancer Fight
The University of the Philippines–Clinical Epidemiology Unit (UP–CEU) found 2 hormonal factors that increased women’s risk of having breast cancer: use of oral contraceptives and post-menopausal women taking hormone replacement therapy. Other common findings in women with breast cancer were infertility and first pregnancy after 35. Protective factors included number of livebirths, breastfeeding and severe dysmenorrhea.

In Cancer and the Philippine Cancer Control Program, Ngelangel, et al., found that although many women are aware of breast cancer and breast examination, only 27% actually do a routine breast self-examination. This is evidenced by more number of medical consultations for diagnosis and therapy than preventive healthcare visits. With that, most cases are diagnosed at later stages where patients tend to experience more pain, spend more for diagnostic laboratory tests and have lower survival rates.

In a joint assessment of ADB and DOH, among the aspects that needed improvement in Cancer and the Philippine Cancer Control Program include information dissemination, and quality of testing and screening services which were also not readily available and accessible. This cause is compounded by patient fears of pain, confirmation of malignancy, and high and repetitive cost in diagnosis and treatment.

The Pink Run photo courtesy of The Pink Run 2010
The breast cancer awareness campaign was pretty aggressive this month in promoting health education and early diagnosis to lower the number of breast cancer casualties. From conventions and exhibits in different regions of the country, the ICanServe advocacy group partnered with establishments in promoting its awareness and early detection plan to curb the risk of breast cancer. Fundraising for the group’s advocacy is made possible thru sponsors and sale of advocacy clothing and gift items. Another fun run event,  The Pink Run: D’feeting Breast Cancer was organized by the Philippine Society of General Surgeons, MMC. You can check out more photos at The Fun Run 2010 Facebook Page. While in Cebu, The Philippine Society of Medical Oncology (PSMO), I Can Serve, RC Cebu Fuente and RC Gloria Maris jumped of with Pink Chat, a forum on health, cancer awareness and prevention, and a series of Think Pink events.

Photo from the album: Pink Run 2010
As October ends, I hope that the fever won’t stop. What others know can save lives in the future. Hopefully, the Philippine Cancer Control Program will have better results in their next assessment.

Watch for the launch and feature of a new diagnostic procedure to detect early signs of breast cancer.Photos are owned by The Pink Run 2010 and Cebu Cancer Fight.

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ICanServe is really amazing with its efforts. I saw one booth that they had in SM. It's what like a shootout for the basketball enthusiast. Like they pay just one peso to try out in a limited time. All the guys lining up made me think they just might not be aware that it's for breast cancer. Or they just might be aware of it. :)

Hi Fleire,

Nice of you to drop by! I think they made a very good impression and reached different regions during the campaign..really reaching out...Yes, they also have a way with coming up with engaging activities. My favorites were the Ticked Pink bazaar, the Pink Run, and the one I didnt get a chance to see, the Pink Kitchen. Who would have thought of staging ballet in a marathon? I wonder what they'll do next..

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