Fight Breast Cancer with Early Detection

October 15, 2019

My mom and aunt died of breast cancer. It was a well-fought battle for my mom and had her life extended for another 8 years. Sadly, my aunt's breast cancer was detected during the advanced stage. I've been advocating breast cancer awareness since 2007. I am considered high risk. I undergo regular semi-annual breast ultrasound in the past 12 years and mammogram when I reached 40.

The Philippines is one of the countries with the highest incidence of breast cancer in Asia. The country has been in the list for years because the disease continues to affect a lot of Filipinos, young and old, male and female.

“Breast cancer cannot be prevented but the risk can be lowered by changing our lifestyle. Despite this, it still affects a lot of people, young and old, male and female alike. Our best defense is still early detection. This is the goal of our Pink Ribbon Campaign - to promote breast cancer awareness and early detection,” said Dr. Melanie T. Cruz, secretary of the Philippine Breast Cancer Society.

Pink Ribbon for Breast Cancer is an annual event held in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The opening activity was held at the Event Center of SM City San Lazaro, and was spearheaded by the Philippine Breast Cancer Society (PBCS) and SM Cares, the corporate social responsibility arm of SM Prime Holdings, supported by the Department of Health (DOH).

Attended by hundreds of women, advocates and volunteer doctors, this year’s Pink Ribbon for Breast Cancer focused on educational talks and sharing of experiences by breast cancer warriors. DOH cancer program head Dr. Clarito Cairo conducted a talk on the importance of breast cancer awareness, and at the same time taught women how to detect and be protected against the risk.

“Every year, the number of patients suffering from breast cancer continues to rise. This is why we hold the Pink Ribbon for Breast Cancer yearly, to continue educating women that early detection and early intervention is very important,” said SM Cares Program on Women & Breastfeeding Program Director Bernadette Velasco.

Celebrity Suzi Entrata-Abrera hosted the event, and inspirational talks from film director Bibeth Orteza and actress Melissa de Leon, well-known breast cancer survivors, were featured. Free clinical breast examination was also administered by volunteer health professionals.

Pink Ribbon for Breast Cancer was also held at the event center of SM City Telabastagan.

The Philippine Breast Cancer Society, founded in 2009, is a medical organization dedicated solely to the management of breast cancer. Its members are made up of doctors under different specialties who are kept up-to-date on breast cancer management through annual Breast Cancer Symposium.

SM Cares aimed at supporting the communities where its malls are present. Other SM Cares initiatives for women include institutionalizing breastfeeding stations across all SM Supermalls nationwide as part of its program to provide breastfeeding mothers the convenience and privacy in nourishing their babies. Last August, SM Cares Program on Women supported Breastfeeding Pinays and DOH in the annual celebration of “Hakab Na!” in observance of Breastfeeding Awareness Month.

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