DOH SAYS Breast cancer is leading cause of cancer deaths in RP
Posted February 8, 2010on:
By Anna Valmero
First Posted 19:11:00 02/04/2010
Filed Under: Health, Diseases, Women, Children
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Health says that breast cancer is now the most common cancer in the Philippines, accounting for 16 percent of the 50,000 cases of the dreaded disease in the country.
Breast cancer overtook lung cancer as the most common cancer in the country, said Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral, followed by cancer of the lung, liver, cervix, colon, thyroid, rectum, ovary, prostate and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Breast cancer is also the leading cause of cancer among women, accounting for 28 percent of the total cases, followed by cancer of the cervix, ovary, thyroid and lung. Lung cancer, meanwhile, is the most common cancer for men at 27 percent of the total cases, followed by liver, prostate, colon and rectum, said Cabral.
“Cancer is the third leading cause of death in the country with mortality rates of up to 50,000 deaths among Filipinos and growing by five percent every year as per our population growth and increase in smoking prevalence,” she said.
“Having breast cancer as the most common type of cancer calls for intensified advocacy for the prevention and early detection as we need to double efforts to save our women from this early disease,” she said.
Cabral urged Filipinos to avoid smoking or being exposed to second-hand smoke to prevent developing several types of cancer as she urged women to constantly examine their breasts.
Julius Lecciones, director of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, added that the health department will spend P40 million for therapy of cancer-stricken children, who are afflicted with leukemia, brain tumor and cancer of the eyes and abdomen.
In the country, only two out of 10 children with cancer will survive due to a lack of facilities for early detection and unavailability of medicines, Lecciones said.
The health department will soon open oncology pediatric units in a bid to cure five out of 10 cancer cases among children, she said.
“In our preventive program, we teach the kids on the importance of healthy lifestyle because later an unhealthy lifestyle such as one of obese diet and smoking could lead to more cancer cases,” said Lecciones.
Philippine Cancer Society (PCS) executive director Rachel Marie Rosario said her organization will enhance free mammography services and fine needle aspiration biopsy alongside improved education campaigns among women to promote early detection by regular self-examination of breasts.