Celso, Beng lead ‘Pink October Walk’ PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 08 October 2011 16:18

Thousands of people mostly women, government employees and private sectors joined Thursday in this year’s “Pink October Walk,” an annual fund-raising advocacy of the city government and the Gender and Development (GAD) for their continued fight against breast cancer.

Mayor Celso Lobregat and Deputy House Speaker Rep. Beng Climaco-Salazar of District 1 led in the walk that reeled off at Valderroza Street and culminated at the JFE Memorial Sports Complex where the commemorative program was held. Archbishop Romulo Valles also joined in the program.

The activity was able to raise more or less P130,000 in cash donations and pledges for the breast cancer patients in the city.

In his message, Dr. Emmanuel Glorioso, a medical oncologist at the Zamboanga City Medical Center, bewailed that the problem of breast cancer in the country today is so great that it has overtaken lung cancer as the most common cancer in the Philippines.

He said breast cancer accounted for 16% of the 50,000 cases reported last year and that the Philippines now ranks No. 1 in Southeast Asia in breast cancer frequency or incidence and “we are No. 9 in the world.”

“This incidence is expected to rise by 5% per annum. If we are not going to do anything about this, sooner or later we will become No. 1 in the world,” Dr. Glorioso said, adding that time is ripe for intensified advocacy or education campaign for the promotion and early detection of breast cancer. “And we need to double our efforts to save our women from this disease.”

According to him, the cost of treatment of breast cancer is very high, especially if detected late. In breast cancer, he said, the adage “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” is true. “Meaning to say, si nuay enfermedad nuay gastos,” he said in the vernacular.  

Dr. Glorioso further cited measures to prevent breast cancer and these include proper diet, body weight control, avoid animal fat (Huwag mag pataba at huwag magpataba), avoid pregnancy before the age of 35 and contraceptive pills.

“Education is the key. The earlier we detect, the earlier we can treat the patient. The better their chances of survival, the cheaper the cost of treatment will be,” Glorioso stressed, as he also advised women to regularly practice self-breast examination using their own fingers.

Meanwhile, Dr. Romeo Ong, chief of ZCMC, announced that the ZCMC will soon have its own Cancer Center through the generosity of Rep. Beng Climaco-Salazar who gave P11 million for the center, and Mayor Lobregat for the medicines.

He said the Department of Health has also assisted for the purchase of cobalt machine (a cancer radiation treatment, with P16 million from the national government acquired through representations by Cong. Climaco, and P23 million worth of cancer drugs.

Dr. Ong further said the ZCMC is now the cancer access point in Mindanao, next to Davao Medical Center. — Vic Larato