December 04, 2018

Are you a smoker?

People would often jump into conclusion that a lung cancer patient is a smoker. The truth is, 25% of lung cancer incidences are not linked to smoking and the rate of never-smokers diagnosed with the disease has been increasing.

According to the American Cancer Society, other causes of lung cancer are exposure to second-hand smoke, diesel exhaust, asbestos, radioactive radon gas, and chemicals release by burning coal products.

What is lung cancer?

Lung cancer is a condition when some of the cells in the lungs undergo a change that makes them multiply out of control to form a lump or tumor. If untreated, the cancer could spread to other areas of the body.

Approximately 85 out of 100 lung cancer cases are NSCLC.

LVNG with Lung Cancer

Is there hope after being diagnosed with lung cancer?

Lung cancer, like any other types of cancer, is a very challenging condition and the fight against it should not be a solo battle. To help the Filipino patients, biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has partnered with the Philippine Society of Medical Oncology (PSMO) along with support groups such as Cancer Coalition of the Philippines (CCP) and the Philippine Alliance of Patient Organizations (PAPO) in launching the LVNG with Lung Cancer online resource portal.

"Being diagnosed with lung cancer can make patients feel anxious and hopeless, which is why support is vital," explains Dr. Donald Ray Josue, Medical Affairs Head of AstraZeneca Philippines. "LVNG with Lung Cancer provides support by forming a community of patients and their loved ones so they can inspire each other and exchange helpful information about their treatment. Through the network, patients will realize that while lung cancer is not yet curable, it is very treatable. There's still so much for them to look forward to in their lives."

Breakthrough treatment

When treated early and properly, lung cancer patients will see hope in their condition. Reaching out to medical professionals can provide them with information about their treatment options.

Chemotherapy is usually thought of as the only treatment for cancer. 

Dr. Maria Luisa Abesamis-Tiambeng of Cardinal Santos Medical Center emphasized that there are now various options available depending on the patient's diagnosis, preference and recommendations from the healthcare team. Among these options include surgery to remove the affected lung tissues, radiation therapy that uses high dosage of radiation to destroy cancer cells, and targeted drug therapy.

Targeted drug therapy may be recommended based on biopsy findings. Through biomarker testing, the biopsy can reveal genetic mutations in cancer cells that can be targeted by drugs designed to zero in on those cellular abnormalities.

Therapeutic advances have made targeted drug therapy the standard of care for personalized medicine in the fight against certain lung cancers. One breakthrough is Tagrisso (Osimertinib), an oral tablet from a class of drugs called tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) that target tumors with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations.

Tagrisso (Osimertinib) is a third-generation EGFR TKI that has shown better precision and power at stopping lung cancer growth and improving patient survival. A double-blind FLAURA study shows that Tagrisso delivers 18.9 months of median progression-free survival, nearly twice as long as older drugs that deliver a median of 10.2 months. Tagrisso (Osimertinib) also reduces the risk of lung cancer metastasis on the central nervous system by 52 percent, and lowers the risk of death by 37 percent based on its preliminary data.

“These results have made Tagrisso (Osimertinib) the recommended and preferred first-line treatment by international guidelines for advanced and metastatic non-small cell lung cancer—the most prevalent type of lung cancer—that tested positive for EGFR,” Dr. Josue adds.

EGFR biomarker testing is available across laboratories and hospitals nationwide including the Chong Hua Hospital, Hi-Precision Diagnostics, Lung Center of the Philippines, Manila HealthTek Inc., National Kidney and Transplant Institute, St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City, and The Medical City.
Learn more about LVNG With Lung Cancer at or

November 08, 2018

Most business owners know that a paycheck is not enough to keep an employee dedicated to the company. Employees need to be challenged, they need career paths for growth and they like to have their accomplishments recognized. While employees do get hired to do a job, it can sometimes require dedication above and beyond the call of duty to get those jobs done. That is why it is fun to find new ways to recognize employees for their accomplishments.

Gift Baskets

Gift baskets are fun because they can be customized for any corporate occasion. You can get unique corporate gift baskets that recognize someone in the mail room that would be different than a basket recognizing someone from the management team. If you put some thought into a good gift basket, then you can come up with fun ways to make your employees feel appreciated.

Parking Spaces

Does your company have that one or two parking spaces that everyone tries to get when they show up in the morning? Instead of allowing fate to award those parking spaces, you can block them off and reserve them for the employee or employees of the month. You would be surprised at how hard someone will work to keep that prime parking spot once they get used to parking there every day for a month.

Catered Lunch

Good bosses bring in doughnuts on days when they know there will be a lot of work, but great bosses set up monthly catered lunches to let the employees know how much they are appreciated. If you want your monthly employee appreciation lunch to really be a hit, then be sure to ask your employees what they would like to see on the menu before you place your order.

Your employees are your greatest assets, and your best employees are the ones who help to make your company successful. Whether you feel the need to recognize one employee each month or a whole department, you need to take the steps necessary to show your employees that they are appreciated.

October 31, 2018

If you ask me what my job was before I embraced freelance writing, you'd be surprised it's all about numbers. The first five years of my career, I worked in a bank handling investments. The last five years were spent preparing budgets and analyzing the financial statements. I can say that I had a fulfilling career and I excelled in my field. I had financial stability. Unlike freelancing, I received my paycheck twice a month. 

My dad did not approve when I told him I don't want an 8-5 job anymore. He was in the corporate for 30 years and my mom was a dedicated public school teacher for 20 years. I was only working for a decade and already calling it quits.

So, why did I leave?

I want to quit my job and do what I love at age 30.

It was actually easy even though most of the time I don't get compensated. My husband is financially capable of supporting me and I'm confident my parents will be there for me no matter what. I thought to myself, this is financial independence! I don't need to work but the bills get paid and I don't need a lifestyle change.

I spent too much. My savings got depleted. My parents passed away. I was broke and depressed. My financial situation was a big mess. I'm an accountant who let my finances control me. 

My journey began with acceptance. It was the moment I admitted  that I was just making myself believe I was financially independent but the truth is I was financially dependent from my husband and parents.

My husband is way better than me when it comes to budgeting. It's a shame that I was so strict with the company budget but unmindful with my own money. I relearned how to manage my money. Budgeting is very important no matter how much money you have. Setting a weekly and a monthly budget helped me track where my money is spent. 

Knowing where my money is spent, I started becoming debt-free. I made sure I don't make unnecessary purchases using my credit card. I don't buy things I don't need even if it's on sale. I don't travel just because everybody does or there's a promo. I don't fall for the 0% interest.  If you find it difficult to control yourself from swiping that card, leave it at home. 

I used to say, I blog for passion. I don't care whether I get paid or not. This kind of thinking is wrong. I should care because I incur expenses. How am I supposed to achieve financial independence if I don't have an income? 

I still write for passion. But I am now smarter in choosing the events I attend. I also grab writing opportunities that pay me without the need to leave home. I work hard in making my blog generate income

This is my latest vision board. Now that I am earning, I have vowed to invest sensibly. I want to be prepared for life's unexpected expenses. My family spent more than a million when my mom got cancer and underwent chemotherapy. My dad's hospital bill was P700,000 when he was confined for almost a month.  The most recent was my sister's emergency CS that cost us P326,000. Am I ready for that should something happen to me?

Should I really get an insurance or should I invest again in the bank?

I have already checked the different products and services offered by Sun Life Financial and even computed if I could afford using the the life insurance calculator.

At first, I was just looking for an insurance product since I currently have two 5-year fixed rate investments in the bank. But when I saw the Sun MaxiLink Bright, it was a eureka moment.  It is an investment-linked life insurance plan that offers a combined benefit of insurance protection and investment. 

I got in touch with Neri, my co-blogger and a Sun Life financial advisor, to give me more information about Sun Maxilink Bright. She was able to explain everything I want to know. In a few days, I will be receiving "the gift" for my 42nd birthday. I get to enjoy life more and worry less because I know I am financially prepared for whatever life will throw at me.

Do you want to be financially independent? Learn from my experience. Set a goal. Plan. Act. Achieve. While it's better to start young, what is more important is for you to start NOW. 

October 11, 2018

Entrepreneurship is such an amazing achievement. When you're able to open up your own boutique and successfully grow the company for years, you've truly reached a goal that should be celebrated. If you're in the beginning phases of the company, you might be in a position where you're trying to figure out what to do and how to maintain the process. There are a few things you'll want to remember as you plan for future success. 

1. Prioritize. 

Understand that your to-do list as an entrepreneur will constantly grow. However, you must remain intentional about prioritizing all of your tasks. In fact, it's best to find people who can do some of the work you'd normally do so that you can focus on income-producing activities. This means that you should spend hours cleaning the boutique space. If it takes you five hours to clean the office, that's five hours you could use to produce income. Instead, hire a cleaning service bethesda to take care of it. 

2. Seek mentorship. 

If you don't have a mentor, this shouldn't stop you from doing the work. In fact, it's best to really work hard at achieving your goal and your mentor will find you, in some cases. At the same time, consider people who you look up. These people don't necessarily have to be in your field, but they should've accomplished some of the goals you're looking to achieve. Once you find mentors, be proactive about finding ways to serve them. They're already busy and have people pulling at them from all directions. Find ways to serve them first before asking for anything. 

3. Strategy is key. 

While hard work is its own reward, it's best to work smarter and not harder. If there are ways you can get your products or services in front of new people, explore them. However, see if you can strategically find opportunities that don't involve using more personal energy to make it happen. For example, if you can find someone who's a whiz with Facebook Ads and sales funnels, this will provide you with a new stream of customers that you didn't have to exert personal energy to produce. Remember that you're only one person. Your energy will run out so use it wisely and strategically. 

October 03, 2018

I was never conscious of how I look. I only exert an effort to at least look presentable. I don't have a beauty regimen or religiously take nutritional supplements. I thought I could manage to feel young forever.

They say age is just a number. But when I turned forty, I started noticing changes in my body. Although it's flattering when people tell me I look younger than my age, I wish I could say I also feel younger than my age.

Boracay, September 2008
An old photograph resurfaced on my facebook memories. This was a candid photo taken by my husband a decade ago on my 32nd birthday. I really thought I was fat back then. I guess I was not but I am now. My metabolism is slower. My skin is also showing signs of neglect. 

Is it too late for me to defy aging?

I've been reading about collagen and hyaluron as prime ingredients in beauty products. I am curious with creams and serums that promises a youthful glow. But I believe that in order to have a beautiful skin, you must start from the inside. 

It's my 4th day of taking Premium HyC150 every morning. This powder dietary supplement from Japan has Hyaluron and Collagen plus Ubiquinol. So, how will these key ingredients help me defy aging?

The amount of collagen in our body depletes as we age. At 42, my collagen level is now at 60%. Collagen is responsible for the skin's elasticity, protects our organs, and makes our bones, muscles, and joints healthy.

The most popular benefit of collagen is its ability to reverse skin aging. A study showed that women who take collagen in as short as four weeks will notice an improvement on their skin's elasticity and texture. Collagen can also help reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Hyaluron helps the collagen in providing more moisture for the skin and aids in the lubrication of the bones and joints. 

Ubiquinol boosts energy, enhances immunity, and strengthens the heart.

Better late than never

A change in lifestyle is very important. I no longer stay awake beyond midnight. I try to consume less meat and processed food and include more fruits and vegetables in my diet. It's a struggle for me to give up carbonated drinks right away but I have limited my intake to one glass a day and drink more water. I have also skincare regimen. I am now acknowledging the importance of moisturizer and sunblock. Of course, HyC150 is already a part of my breakfast.

How to take HyC150

Suggested intake is one sachet diluted in 6 to 8 ounces of water. I prefer it mixed with my favorite chocolate drink in the morning. You can also add it to your yogurt or breakfast cereal. A friend of mine adds HyC150 in her black coffee.

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