cervical_cancer.jpgAccording to a report from global pharmaceutical company MSD, the rate of cervical cancer occurrence in the Philippines is still high. While other countries’ rates have declined, the Philippines has recorded a steady rate of 22 to 26 cases in 100,000 women since 1980, says Dr. Rey Delos Reyes, President of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists of the Philippines (SGOP). As the second most common cancer among women in the country, twelve Filipinas die from it every day. The silent lady killer continues to terrorize Filipino women with 6,000 diagnosed and 4,349 dying every year.
Delos Reyes claims that the country’s rate is very high, considering that cervical cancer is preventable and curable in its early stages. To help lower the rate of cervical cancer incidence, he says, what the country needs is a “well-organized screening program” for prevention and early detection of the disease. Most Filipino women don’t undergo regular screening, Delos Reyes notes. Thus, the disease is only detected in its advanced stage.

In an effort to increase cervical cancer awareness and implement regular screening, the Department of Health in cooperation with SGOP, the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS), Philippine Society of Cervical Pathology and Colposcopy (PSCPC), and MSD, conducted a one-day free screening in over 60 DOH-retained hospitals all over the country. The annual program was a success with 184 participants this year compared to last year’s 80. A participant at the screening notes that if awareness increases about free programs like this, more women would go "especially since most Filipinos would prioritize bread-and-butter needs before regular health check-ups."

Cervical cancer is caused by certain strains of the human papillomavirus or HPV. To find out more about cervical cancer, how to prevent it, and what vaccines should be used, check out FN’s guide to cervical cancer. For more details on HPV, visit www.helpfighthpv.com.

(Photo source: sxc.hu)
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