Cebu News

Doctors ask women to know cancer more

Marigold Lebumfacil - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - With October being World Menopause Month, the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS)-Cebu is asking middle-aged and older women to be more aware about cancer.

Dr. Mari Dolores Perez, POGS-Cebu president, said cancer is responsible for around 15 percent of all deaths for both sexes worldwide.

“Being aware of the problem of cancer and how you can take steps to lessen your risk of getting cancer is vitally important to Filipino women,” she said.

Incidence of most cancers rises with age, making it especially important for women going through menopause to be aware of this increased vulnerability to cancer.

Perez said that women need to be attuned with their bodies and look for any changes that might indicate a problem.

She advised women should visit their doctors regularly to discuss their general health condition and arrange appropriate check-ups.

“Women also need to try to live as healthy lifestyle as possible. We all know what this means—eating better, exercising more, not smoking, and so on,” she said.

Perez said “menopause marks a change in women’s lives, but most women would still have one-third of their lives remaining, and should look forward to many more healthy years”.

“But first, women need to discuss their options, such as good nutrition, exercise, and treatment that help ensure a healthy life and reduce their risk of getting cancer. Women should not be afraid of cancer, but they should be aware of it,” she said.

It was suggested that a systematic follow-up of at least once a year for each woman in midlife and beyond should be observed.

If a woman experiences symptoms, she should see her doctor immediately. These symptoms may include abnormal vaginal bleeding, pelvic or abdominal pain, unusual digestive symptoms, blood in the feces and urine, breast abnormalities, unusual cough, and blood clot in a vein in women with no family history of having it.

Dr. Marivic Tan, POGS-7 public relations officer, said they wanted to empower women for them to know more about their physical condition and not suffer from physiological changes that menopause causes.

The International Menopause Society (IMS), in collaboration with the World Health Organization, has identified Oct. 18 as World Menopause Day and October as World Menopause Month.

POGS-Cebu has lined up activities to celebrate the annual event.

In particular, it is inaugurating an exhibit featuring a gallery of photos of renowned Filipino menopausal women and their views on handling issues on midlife and menopause at on Oct. 4.

The photo gallery, which would be at the Ayala Center Cebu Activity Center, is dubbed “The Woman, the Strength, the Inspiration and the Light of My Life”.

On Oct. 19, there would be a one-hour Zumba at the Ayala Terraces, with free breakfast to be given to the first 300 early registrants, followed by a menopause forum. POGS-Cebu Chapter invited competent panelists to answer the queries of guests.

POGS-Cebu would also be presenting its “models”, who include Mariquita Salimbangon-Yeung, Amparito Lhuillier, Annabelle Aboitiz, Mary Ann Alcordo-Solomon, Lita Urbina, Mila Chan, Mila Tolentino, Nelia Neri, Architect Tessie Javier, Delia Villacastin, Teresing Mendesona, and Janice Minor.

The said women are already in their menopausal stage but have shown society that women their age still excel in their respective crafts.

POGS-Cebu is a women’s health advocate offering pap smear programs and other services.  (FREEMAN)

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