Surgeons urge women (and men) to undergo regular breast examination
Cebu City (5 October) -- "Be conscious, everyone (even men) should have a regular breast examination."
This is what Philippine College of Surgeons president Manuel Villamor said in yesterday's Kapihan sa PIA in celebration of the "Pink October" as the Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
An Annual Moon Walk, now on its third year and spearheaded by the RAFI-Eduardo J. Aboitiz Cancer Center (EJACC) and the Cancer Care Network of Cebu, is set on the 7th of October this year in Cebu City in time of the full moon.
This year's theme dubbed as "Kanser sa Totoy Mapakgang… Magmabinantayon sa Imong Dughan" (Prevent Breast Cancer… Monitor Your Breast), encourages everybody to fight cancer through proper information and vigilance.
Villamor stressed that breast cancer can always be prevented through early screening and early detection so there is still time for cure or treatment.
"A regular breast examination for all (even men and) especially females who have reached a fertile age (menstruation age), and a yearly breast screening and mammography for women above 40 years old is a must," he said.
Though lumps and mast are common to women especially during menstruation (as estrogen level is high and it's when body cells are most active), the time to go and see a doctor is when one sees or feels that these lumps have grown larger; presence of the following on the breast/s: discharges, dimples, wound/s that don't heal, and growth of more masts; and feeling of unusual pain of the breast, explained Villamor.
Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center's (VSMMC) Oncology Section & General Surgery Senior Resident Physician Alice Pepito, on the other hand, complains that people would usually only go to the doctor when their cancer is already worst or in stage 3 (stages 1 and 2 being a treatable stage).
"They usually come to us when their breasts are either already bleeding, giving off an awful smell or has already spread and made them bedridden. Then they make us doctors do the impossible," she added.
Since breast cancer still ranks No. 1 among the causes of high mortality rate in the Philippines among women, VSMMC has scheduled Wednesdays for breast general consultation and examination, while Mondays are for breast cancer follow-up.
VSMMC's 2005 record shows that, in Cebu, among the 961 patients for New Consultations on breast: 833 were Follow-Up Patients (have findings but not necessarily cancer); and 136 of which were diagnosed to have breast cancer.
The 3rd Annual Moon Walk on Saturday, October 7, assembly area is in front the Cebu Provincial Capitol building at 5:30pm. The walk will start at 6:00pm going to the Cebu Normal University school where a short program will be held.
Participating agencies, offices, schools, groups and organizations are encouraged to bring their official streamer or banner to identify them.
This is a walk for a cause that aims to promote a collective effort in fighting cancer through a massive awareness campaign focused on the early screening and detection of breast cancer. (PIA/gfg) [top]