Issue of January 31, 2016
     
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BGHMC soon to provide complete & state–of–the–art cancer facility
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

The Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, a major referral center accommodating patients from Cordillera and nearby regions, will soon operate a cancer center in the hospital compound along Kennon Road.

The cancer center is eyed to be fully operational by August, and will have  a soft launch on April 8.

Dr. Jasmin Igama, medical specialist IV at the Department of Medicine of BGHMC, on Thursday said the center’s establishment is in line with the National Cancer Control Program of the government, particularly since cancer cases both in global and national scales are increasing at an alarming rate.

Igama said the cancer center will house state-of-the-art radiation facility and will be the only one that has a comprehensive kind of treatment and a one-stop shop for all kinds of consultations and diagnostic tests.

Igama said BGHMC, which is an ISO certified, level 3 medical center in the Philippines, observed an increasing number of cases of cancers, with breast, lung, and liver cancers having the most number of cases.

For breast cancer, 504 new cases have been detected and being treated at BGHMC, and only 10 percent of which are in stage 1; 20 percent are in stage 2, and 65 percent are in stages 3 and 4.

Roughly 20 new cases of lung cancer or three to four cases a week are detected every month, and at least 10 cases of liver cancer are confirmed every month.

The health official clarified the data does not necessarily refer to those actually living in the Cordillera, since BGHMC caters to patients from outside the region, being a referral center. In fact most patients come from Pangasinan and other provinces, followed by patients from the Cordillera.

Two-thirds of the cases are attributed to lifestyle such as having vices, poor eating habits, and sexual practices; and one-third is genetic or hereditary. It has also been noted that most of the cases are already in critical stages.

“Sadly most of these patients are already in stage 3 or 4, which has something to do with patients’ diagnostic seeking behavior. We don’t understand why people do not seek consultation,” Igama said during a regular press forum hosted by the Department of Health and Philippine Information Agency.

She said there is no reason for a person not to seek medical attention since diagnostic services are now accessible and government offers these for free. BGHMC accepts the Z packages program of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation where treatments such as for breast and prostate cancers, leukemia, and eventually colorectal cancer are free.


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