Breast cancer 3rd ‘most fatal type’ among Filipino women

Rhodina Villanueva, Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
Breast cancer 3rd �most fatal type� among Filipino women
The pink ribbon is a symbol to promote awareness about breast cancer.
Image by Marijana from Pixabay

MANILA, Philippines — The national government should be pro-active in detecting and preventing breast cancer, which is the third most fatal type of cancer afflicting Filipino women, behind lung and liver cancer, according to a lawmaker.

House Deputy Speaker Camille Villar yesterday filed House Resolution 1023 for purposes of increasing breast cancer awareness amid the prevalence of the most common cancer among women in the country, insisting there has to be easier access to “preventive screening” to “save lives.”

“With the alarming growth of breast cancer cases in the Philippines, there is a need to strengthen dedicated programs against breast cancer, and to allocate adequate budgetary support for programs involving early detection in hospitals and at the local level,” she said.

“There is a seeming absence of comprehensive screening programs especially in far-flung areas, thereby depriving women to seek immediate early screening or medical help,” the administration lawmaker lamented.

Villar underscored the need to intensify its early detection programs and promote easier access to preventive screening against breast cancer to save lives.

Based on reports, there were 86,484 total cancer cases in the Philippines, of which 27,163 breast cancer cases are reported every year.

Breast cancer also claimed the lives of 9,926 Filipino women, making it the third most fatal type of cancer afflicting Filipinos.

The Philippines had the highest rate of breast cancer in Asia and the ninth highest in the world in 2019, with the disease often diagnosed only in advanced stages.

Moreover, an estimated 70 percent of breast cancer cases affect indigent women, making it more difficult for them to fight off the dreaded disease.

Experts noted that early detection programs are the best way for affordable care and to fight off breast cancer.

Villar also called on her colleagues to pass a separate measure seeking to establish a special assistance fund dedicated to cancer patients, particularly the indigents and underprivileged Filipinos who need all the support from the government.

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