Cancer experts remind public to take early steps in fighting cancer PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 28 January 2012 14:20

The Philippine Society of Medical Oncology (PSMO), a group of medical doctors dealing with various cancers, has reminded the public to take steps in preventing cancer at its earliest stage.

Felycette Gay Lapus, an oncologist and president of the PSMO, said that it was common among Filipinos to wait a little longer before seeing doctors (as far as cancer is concerned) because of fear.

“When in fact that cure and control for cancer is possible if they come to us early,” Lapus told journalists in a press conference Thursday held at the Hyatt Hotel, Manila, with PSCO leading the celebration of the Cancer Consciousness Week (celebrated every third week of January).

With this year’s theme “Cancer Can Now Be Prevented”, the PSMO takes lead in promoting that the most important part of cancer prevention is proper education.

Likewise, Lapus reminded the public of the seven warning signs of cancer or acronym “caution”(as designated by the American Cancer Society)which are as follows:

C—change in bowel or bladder habits; A— a sore that does not heal, U—unusual bleeding or discharge; T—thickening or lump in the breast, testicles, or elsewhere; I—indigestion or difficulty swallowing; O—obvious change in the size, color, shape, or thickness of a wart, mole, or mouth sore; N—Nagging cough or hoarseness.

Other symptoms, Lapus said includes:persistent headaches,unexplained loss of weight or appetite, chronic pain in bones or other areas of the body. Persistent fatigue, nausea, or vomiting, persistent low-grade fever, either constant or intermittent,repeated instances of infection.
“And this we would like to bring forth to public that any of these changes please see your doctors,”Lapus said.

Accordingly, of the leading causes of cancer in the country — breast, lung, liver, colon- rectal, and cervix—three are preventable (lung,liver,cervix) and the remaining two can be cured if detected early (breast,colon-rectal), said Dr. Ellie May Villegas, also an oncologist and vice president of the PSMO.
Villegas said this would especially true for people with a strong family history of cancer.

“Just because there are more treatments available now, it doesn’t mean that people should be less vigilant when it comes to preventing cancer as early as possible,”Villegas said.

Dr. Dennis Ramon Tudtud, also an oncologist and immediate past president of the PSMO, shared with media latest cancer research findings,important occupational information for cancers that can occur at the workplace especially those with exposure to chemicals. asbestos and other carcinogenic materials, and new advances in medicine, and safe practices for cancer care and treatment.

In celebration for the World Cancer Day on February 4, the PSMO vowed to continue to equip the public with information regarding cancer, to continue the out-reach programs partnering with local government in order to target barangay health workers to inform community they serve.