Doc bats for educating public on cancer threat

Educating the public about the deadly disease like cancer is the best way to prevent this from being deadly

“As far as the advocacy of most Oncologist is educating the public about cancers that can be prevented (because not all cancers can be prevented) and cancers where in you can have early diagnosis so that you have a chance for cure or long term survival,” said Dr.Fellycette Martinez-Lapus, Oncologist at Southern Philippines Medical Center during the Connect Science, Health and Wellness press conference at Sm Lanang Premier on February 9, Friday

“According to the World Health Organization, 70 percent OF most cancers are curable and can be prevented, so you are actually dealing with 30 percent if you follow the dictum of early detection. Unfortunately in the Third World countries that does not follow so that is what we are working for,” she added.

Cancer is an abnormal growth of cells that cannot be controlled by the body. The treatment of the cancer will depend on what kind of cancer it is and what stage.

“Cancer is a multi-factorial disease, there are several causes some of it are unknown some of it are caused by an infection like Hepatitis B for Liver cancer, Papillomavirus for cervical cancer but most of them are multi factorial. Genetics also plays a role,” she said.

She emphasized prevention and early detection as a way to fight cancers because having treatment becomes very expensive and the patient will undergo three different treatments, surgery, chemo therapy and radiation therapy which all available at SMPC

She said that for prevention and as far vaccines are concerned there are three types of cancers that can be prevented; Lung Cancer, Liver cancer and Cervical Cancer.

She said that among all cancers, Lung Cancer is the number one prevalent cancer to male which is directly related to smoking. She said 90% of Lung Cancer is cause by smoking.

“If we are able to curtail smoking activity in the country then we can reduce the number of lung cancer patients,” she said.

She said that Hepatocellular cancer or Liver cancer and the relationship to hepatitis B and Hepatitis C which is   preventable by having the young vaccinated because it takes years for liver cancer to develop. She said that by reducing the number of people having Hepatitis through vaccination this will also prevent the development of liver cancer.

There are also certain type cancers than can also be prevented by having a human papillomavirus vaccine that prevents genital warts, anal cancer, cervical cancer, vulvar cancer, and vaginal cancer.

“Cervical cancer is also caused by papillomavirus so we also have the HPV vaccine for sexually active females and it is also now a rising cause of Oral cancer because this a sexually transmitted disease because it is caused by the HPV virus,” she said.

For early detection of cancer for women is Breast CA and self-examination of the breast.

“We should advocate that females who have started menstruating should examine their breast at least once a month especially after menses and for those do not have their monthly period should also self-examine once a month and should have a physician exam at least once a year,” she said.

She said that ages 40 and above should undergo a mammogram done for two consecutive years and do it every other year if the results are normal.

Colorectal cancer can also have an early detection if the patient will undergo a colonoscopy or stool exam that will examine the health of the patient’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Oral malignancies can also be detected because there are pre-cancerous lesions in the mouth.

“The advocacy is really education and information dissemination and information dissemination for prevention and screening,” she said.