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PIA Press Release

BGHMC notes increasing cancer cases

by Lito Dar

Baguio City (20 November) -- The Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) receives an average of 30 new cancer cases per month or about one cancer patient a day for this year.

This was affirmed by BGHMC Cancer Center Chairperson. Dr. Jasmin Igama, in a kapihan forum last week at the Department of Health (DOH-CAR) Regional Training Center. November is being observed by the Health Department as Cancer Pain Awareness Month.

According to Igama, there is an increasing report of cancer cases being diagnosed on various hospitals mainly because of the increasing awareness among the people.

But she clarified that that not all BGHMC cancer patients area from the Cordillera. Many are referral patients Regions I and II, and even as far as region III since BGHMC is known to have a complete cancer center facility.

Igama said lung cancer remains the top type of cancer afflicting patients followed by breast cancer and liver cancer, as the second and third, respectively. She noted that leukemia is still prevalent among children.

Igama explained that cancer pain treatment, like what they do in BGHMC, should be under'Palliative Care'. By definition, palliative care aims to alleviate pain in discomfort to improve the quality of life of all patients with any end-stage illness.

'Cancer pain is not only physical. It also involves social, psychiatric, emotional and financial pain, among others,' Dr. Igama stressed.

On treating cancer pain with the issue of traditional and alternative health care, Igama stressed that it can be used in complementary with proper health care, though she also advised that patients should also be responsible as well as their watchers or kin. Patients are vulnerable to the various alternative medicines that are currently flooding the market but have no proven therapeutic claim and sometimes unregistered, she said.

Meanwhile, BGHMC Emergency Room Head Dr. Manuel Quirino, a registered practitioner of Acupuncture, said patients could try traditional and alternative health care as long as they consult their doctors about it. He advised the public to be wary of several spas and so-called healing centers that are unregistered or without certification of applying traditional and alternative health care practices.

Quirino also warned against taking-up or using herbal or any other alternative medicines which have no approved therapeutic claim.

In relation to acupuncture, Quirino affirmed its effectiveness as it has been in practice since history could remember, though he also advised the public to be wary of those who are administering it.

According to Dr. Quirino, there are only four of them in Cordillera who are certified by the Philippine Institute for Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC). (PIA) [top]

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