FEAR and anxiety are not diseases but they could be factors in putting women at risk of dying as these cripple and hinder women to seek medical help from experts.
This was one of the key messages that cancer survivors and experts would constantly remind the Project Pink Fora attendees to combat the increasing mortality rate of breast cancer.
In observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October 2019, City Savings Bank (CitySavings) intensified its campaign against the disease through its Project Pink, which taught teachers about the disease.
The corporate social responsibility initiative contributed to the bank’s sustainable development goals, which aim to reduce the mortality from non-communicable diseases and promote mental health.
“Increasing rates of death is not due to the incurability of breast cancer but because it is diagnosed at a later stage, which makes it hard to cure,” said Ronald Delos Reyes, program coordinator of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.-Eduardo J. Aboitiz Cancer Center (Rafi-EJACC), one of the partner organizations of the bank in Central Visayas.
Albert Villaceran, an attendee from Madridejos District in Bantayan Island, Cebu, was one of the few men who decided to join the forum despite the perception that the activity was only for women.
When asked about his attendance, he said breast cancer can also affect men.
“Early detection is as important to men as it is to women. The testimonies from those who survived breast cancer and the lecture by the oncologist were helpful in opening our eyes about this disease,” Villaceran said.
After the forum, CitySavings held a free medical mission. Close to 200 teachers from Madridejos District availed themselves of the clinical breast examination and pap smear conducted by trained volunteer midwives from the Integrated Midwives Association of the Philippines–Cebu Midwife Clinic Inc. and RAFI-EJACC.
Aside from Central Visayas, CitySavings also conducted Project Pink in various parts of Northern and Southern Luzon, National Capital Region, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Northern and Southern Mindanao where almost 2,300 teachers attended.