Sunday, October 15, 2017

Manila Medical Center’s Campaign against Breast Cancer: Fighting the Big C with Early Detection

Let's all fight against Breast Cancer! Have yourself checked!

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Filipino women, with one in every thirteen women get diagnosed by the time they turn 40. It is also the leading cause of death among women worldwide and is the most prevalent in the Philippines. Statistics reveal that one of every four women diagnosed with breast cancer die within the first five years. 

Despite improvements in diagnosis, treatment and management in recent decades, Filipino women are diagnosed each day and more will lose their lives to the said disease in the next couple of years. Raising awareness is an important part of reducing the impact of breast cancer on Filipino women and families. Manila Medical Center (Manila Med) acknowledges the need for early detection because this is the best way we could all fight against breast cancer. 

Unfortunately, like most Filipinos, we're the type who would only bother to visit the hospital and have ourselves checked if and when "may nararamdaman na." But most of the time, most of us would really avoid going to the hospital and seeing a physician. We fear of finding out that we're not in good health as we thought or we fear the expenses of having to undergo treatment. 

This entire month of October, Manila Medical Center invites all Filipino women to take time out to make sure family, friends and loved ones are well informed, and to ensure those affected know they are not alone in their breast cancer journey. Everyone should also take this opportunity to have their breast check-up for their own peace of mind. After all, early detection is the key against the Big C. Breast cancer awareness and early detection give women a higher chance of beating the disease. 

Dr. Dennis Sacdalan, Head Cancer Unit of Manila Medical Center
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a special time to acknowledge and support the many women and families across the country affected by breast cancer. Breast Cancer Awareness Month originated in the United States back in the 80’s and the month of October is now internationally recognized for breast cancer awareness.

The pink ribbon connotes Breast Cancer Awareness

The earlier cancer is detected, the more likely it can be successfully treated. That’s why breast scans and checks are so crucial, “says Dr. Dennis L. Sacdalan, M.D. Head, Manila Medical Center Cancer Care Unit. He says that “all women should keep an eye on their breasts and go to their doctor straight away if they notice a change in the feel or appearance of their breasts.”

ManilaMed's President, Dr. Jose Ronaldo Delos Santos

Who Are at Risk?

Although there are cases of men diagnosed with breast cancer, most women are at risk of having the disease. Here are some of the risk factors that increase the chance of having breast cancer:
  • women who have close relatives with breast cancer (mother, sister, daughter)
  • women with no children or having her first child after 30
  •  women who are obese or overweight
  • women who had their first menstrual cycle before 12 years old
  • women with dense breast tissue and those with atypical hyperplasia, an accumulation of abnormal cells in the breasts
  • women who has been taking oral contraceptives for more than ten years
  • women who are menopausal and are using hormone replacement therapy

What are the Symptoms?

Symptoms of breast cancer include new lumps or thickening in the breast or under the arm, nipple sores, nipple discharge or turning in, breast dimpling, a rash or swollen breasts. 

There are actually options:
A breast ultrasound can determine whether the breast lump or mass is filled with fluid (a cyst) or solid. Cysts and fibroadenoma or noncancerous lump are monitored for size changes. Cysts usually increase in size during hormonal changes. The recommended schedule for a breast ultrasound is 7-10 days after the first day of the menstruation. Solid lump and irregularly shaped lump are further investigated. 

Digital mammogram is another screening tool used to detect early signs of breast cancer. Women who reach the age of 40 are recommended to undergo mammography every year because the risk of having breast cancer increases as you get older. Mammogram has a greater accuracy detecting breast abnormalities and provides clear images. 

Early detection of breast cancer gives woman a higher chance of getting cure. There are advanced medical treatments available in the country but being diagnosed at a later stage is more difficult to cure and manage. There are still many women who prefer not knowing if there is something wrong with them and will only seek the help of the doctor when it is too late to save their lives. Survival rate for those with stage 2 cancer can go as high as 93%.

ManilaMed stays true to their mission: "It is to give their best to make their patients better."
These are the group of doctors from ManilaMed who will help you to prevent cancer.

For this Breast Cancer Awareness Month and in line with ManilaMed's mission on giving their best to make their patients feel better, Manila Medical Center highlights on the needs of all women to have themselves checked via breast ultrasound, digital mammography and breast screening to ensure that they are in the pink of health. In relation to this, ManilaMed offers 20% discount on Breast Screening Procedures such as Bilateral Screening Mammogram, Bilateral Screening Sonomammogram, and Combined Mammogram and Sonomammogram. The said 20% discount is good from October 1 to 31, 2017 

For more information and other queries, call Roanne Therese Almoniña at (02) 523-8131 loc. 7002 or email through

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