The Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS) together with the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists of the Philippines (SGOP), Philippine Society for Cervical Pathology and Colposcopy(PSPC) and Cervical Cancer Prevention Network (CECAP) supported by GlaxoSmithKline's Women First Advocacy featuring the new TV Commercial at Melo's Steak House, The home of Certified Angus Beef and Aunthentic Wagyu Beef in Makati City.
Endorsed by the famous Pia Magalona, Women First Advocacy intends to bring the facts about cervical cancer straight, to make sure that every woman has a chance to prevent this disease through screening and vaccination and to remind women that OBs are their partners in health.
Like most Filipino women who did not have a culture to make their OBs their best friends, confiding all secrets and sexual intimacies to better address their need to stay healthy and prevent spreading disease, I have realized the need to change the habit. Every Filipino woman - a sister, a mother, relative or friend - needs to be on guard against cervical cancer because there is actually no symptom and no cure. The important fact to realize is that early detection and vaccination are the only ways to deal with this dreaded disease. The Women First Advocacy seeks to create venues for women to learn about HPV and cervical cancer without going out of their way to do so. It aims to make the general public aware of the second most life-threatening cancer int he country through a variety of programs. Current efforts of POGS include member doctors giving free seminars about women's health across the nation to different institutions.
The reality about cervical cancer is that most cases are detected late and more than half of the women with it in the Philippines die within five years of diagnosis.
"It is important that every woman aged 21 and above should undergo regular checkups with their OB-GYN and have themselves vaccinated against cervical cancer," said Dr. Rey Delos Reyes, Chairman of Women First. It was also discussed that men contribute greatly to the spread of cervical cancer being a host of the HPV virus.
Among the options available for us to defend ourselves from cervical cancer is through GSK's cervical cancer vaccine. This vaccine provides protection against Human Papillomavirus (HPV), 16, 18 and 45 - the common cervical cancer-causing HPV types in the Philippines. The battle against cervical cancer should start with proper education about the disease and vaccination to save us all from spending thousands of pesos with hospital bills. Imagine a co-worker, a relative, a mother, a sister or a friend who was just with you on a meeting and losing him/her a week or a month after. I have experienced this before since I have worked with co-teachers who were just attending a professional meeting with me. I was surprised a few weeks after that she died of cervical cancer. The need to clarify issues about cervical cancer should also be disseminated in the provinces and other communities. I remembered my relatives in Mindoro saying my aunt died because of "kanser sa matris". Ovarian cysts and tumors lead to cervical cancer and cancer in the ovaries is no different except that cervical cancer comes from the Human Papillomavirus(HPV). Women First Advocacy with the support of GSK, should be disseminated in remote areas where most Filipinos rely on "albularyo" and "tawas"(faith healing) since it can really be prevented. I'd like to share with all of you what I've learned from the short program today at Women First Advocacy event:
- Worldwide, every two minutes, a woman dies of cervical cancer and more than half a million (or 500,000) women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year.
- It is the 2nd most common cancer among Filipino women next to breast cancer. It is also the 2nd highest killer cancer among women.
- It is diagnosed late in our country because almost all Filipino women do not visit the doctor unless symptoms persists. 56% of Filipino women die of cervical cancer within 5 years.
- HPV-Human Papilloma Virus causes cervical cancer and is easily transmitted. The bad thing about it is the fact that IT IS RESISTANT TO HEAT AND DESICCATION. So even those dead cells, those moonlightings done years ago may cause the cervical cancer you may have now.
- YOU CAN GET IT WITHOUT SEXUAL INTERCOURSE. It may be spread with skin-to-skin (rubbing) genital contact. Using condoms may not save you from getting cervical cancer. Oral sex may transmit the disease.
- You can increase the risk of getting cervical cancer by: getting into sex at an early age, more number of pregnancies, SMOKING, long term use of oral contraceptives and sexually transmitted diseases.
- Everyone is at risk. 80% of women will acquire HPV in their lifetime though only 50% may be inflicted with cancer-causing types.The older the woman gets, the higher her risk of persistent HPV infection.
There is really an immediate need to see your doctor today because you love your family, friends and relatives and because you don't want to spend too much money with surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and worse, death. Hats off to The Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS) together with the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists of the Philippines (SGOP), Philippine Society for Cervical Pathology and Colposcopy(PSPC) and Cervical Cancer Prevention Network (CECAP) supported by GlaxoSmithKline's Women First Advocacy for helping spread the awareness to Filipino women today. You may participate by getting more information about cervical cancer or schedule a FREE cervical cancer lecture from POGS (contact POGS secretariat thru Ms. Sandra Eramis at 09208662467 or 0917835291; landline 024352384-85)