by FFE PH News staff
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and survivors and supporters all over the country have conducted various outreach programmes to raise awareness among Filipinos.
According to a 2012 Philippine Society of Medical Oncology statistics, 3 out of 100 Filipino women get the disease before the age of 75 – the highest incidence in Asia. A recent study ordered by medical tech General Electric (GE) Healthcare also revealed that mortality among breast cancer patients is increasing in developing countries. In the Philippines, patients have a 47% survival rate.
Mirielle Ranade, GE Healthcare Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) communications manager, said ‘What does the disparity show is really just a lack of general awareness and understanding of the importance of early detection.’
To cover this gap among Filipino women, breast cancer survivors have worked with local government officials, medical professionals, celebrities and fitness experts to raise awareness in the country.
Breast cancer support group ICanServe Foundation held Pink Positive Wellness that aimed to bring medical professionals in 9 barangays in Muntinlupa. The residents were invited to a discussion on prevention and treatment of cervical and breast cancer. Funding opportunities were also tackled, and free examinations were given.
Residents were also treated to a laughter yoga session hosted by TV personalities Chiqui Roa Puno and Paolo Trinidad. Meanwhile, a breast examination video by Lea Salonga (English), Dawn Zulueta (Filipino) and Raki Vega (Visayan) were made available. Fashion tips aimed to improve self-confidence were also given by model Patti Betita.
In other parts of the country, ICanServe staged a Zumba party at the Bonifacio High Street Activity Centre and a free examination day in Cagayan de Oro city. Cebu residents were concurrently treated to a Pink Cancer Forum, laughter yoga and Zumba. Cancer chat opened discussions on the disease in Baguio.
Pamsy Tioseco of ICanServe said that the activities were all because they were once again ‘given a blessed chance to live further on.
‘In gratitude through the guidance and leadership of our co-founders … we aim to dedicate the rest of our lives in fighting breast cancer by sharing the gift of ourselves for others.’