Philippines has highest prevalence of breast cancer among 197 countries

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In 2016, the Philippines topped 197 countries with the most number of cases of breast cancer, data released by Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society have shown.

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It is also one of the countries worldwide with the highest prevalence rates of cancer.

Mortality rates are also ballooning.

To help combat the dreaded disease, local health advocates are promoting the National Screening Program especially among high-risk groups, including immediate family members and relatives of cancer patients.

“Studies have shown that certain screening procedures are needed to contribute in reducing mortality,” Dennis Sacdalan, an oncologist at ManilaMed, said on Thursday.

An average of 12 Filipinos die of cervical cancer daily.

The Department of Health (DOH) has ranked colon cancer as the fourth overall in incidence and mortality while lung cancer remains to be the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and third in women.

Screenings can be conducted in hospitals that specialize in cancer treatment, including government medical institutions with caner centers designated by the Health department.

Apart from early detection, one’s lifestyle is also crucial in cancer prevention, however.

Vices like smoking should be avoided while proper diet must be observed.

“If you eat less of fiber and vegetables and more of food with high fat content, then you’re more at risk to develop colon and heart cancer,” Sacdalan said.

Obesity exposes a person to several cancers.

Meanwhile, smoking, that is often mistaken to just cause lung cancer, can also lead to other forms of cancer, like head and neck cancers, stomach cancer and colorectal cancer.

Eight Filipinos die each hour from smoking-related diseases. MICAH VARDELEON

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