FREE cervical cancer screenings will be available for women in more than 50 hospitals accredited by the Department of Health (DOH).
Women aged 21 and above can avail of the free service.
In observance of the Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, the DOH said 58 hospitals will be offering free screenings for the entire month of May. This year, the DOH will focus on the human papillomavirus (HPV), the main cause of cervical cancer.
DOH encourages women to have themselves screened. Aside from cervical cancer, HPV can also lead to genital warts and cause malignancies in the vulva, vagina, and anus if not detected and treated immediately. HPV can also be found in men and could cause them cancer in the head and neck of the penis.
Dr. Rey delos Reyes, consultant at the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center (JRMMC) and former president of the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society, said detecting cervical cancer while it’s still in its early stage is the easiest way to stop it.
Patients whose cervical cancer has progressed to an advanced stage may experience bleeding, itching and develop genital warts.
Delos Reyes said cervical cancer is easy to cure in its early stage. Treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiotheraphy. Also, a treatment called cryotheraphy can be used on patients with HPV that is not yet developing into cervical cancer.
Screening schedules will be every Wednesday in Metro Manila; every Friday in Luzon; Tuesdays in Visayas; and Thursdays in Mindanao.
The DOH that women who are members of PhilHealth Z Benefit Package program can get free vaccines and treatment for cervical cancer.