THE Department of Health-Central Visayas (DOH 7) encouraged all women to conduct breast self-examination and to seek consultation as a way to detect signs of early breast cancer.
This as the world observes Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October.
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH 7 spokesperson, said as per their records for the second quarter of 2020, breast cancer is still among the top 10 cancers affecting women.
Loreche said treatment modalities still include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other breast conservation techniques depending on the type and the stage of the disease.
“In our program for breast cancer awareness, we encourage all women to conduct a breast self-examination and to seek consultation should they notice a mass and or any change in the mass that they have noticed in their breast,” she said.
For breast self-examination, Loreche said it is important to look in the mirror to examine any changes in any of the two breasts.
One can palpitate or feel in a systematic clockwise and then counterclockwise manner one breast after the other, she added.
Loreche said for those who may be financially challenged, they can always seek consultation and guidance in any DOH-retained hospitals.
“Early detection can mean early treatment and can save your life,” she added.
In a regional perspective, Loreche said of the 2,027 women within ages 20 years old and above screened for breast mass in Central Visayas, 38.43 percent or a total of 779 women have been found to have suspicious breast mass.
She said they have also recorded 15 to 20 cases of those diagnosed with cancer per month coming from Cebu Province and the tri-cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu.
As per the DOH 7’s 2019 Field Health Services Information System, among the leading causes of mortality is cancer while from all types of cancer, breast cancer ranked fourth in Central Visayas with 3,135 mortalities.
Breast cancer ranked first with incidence of 24,798 and with mortality of 15,454, according to the country’s overall cancer statistics in 2018.
The Philippine Cancer Society, a non-profit organization primarily engaged in programs, projects and activities in the prevention and control of cancer, said a lump or a mass in the breast is one of the most common symptoms of breast cancer.
These are often hard and painless though some are painful. Other symptoms of breast cancer include swelling in or around the breast, collarbone or armpit, skin dimpling (when the skin of the breast starts to feel thicker and looks a bit like an orange peel), nipple retraction, nipple discharge, and/or breast redness. (WBS)