Issue of July 9, 2017
     
NEWS
Benguet
Kalinga
Mt. Province
 
OPINION
 

69th Courier Anniversary Issue
 
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Forum conveys inspiration from experiences of cancer survivors
by Maria Aprila W. Cruz with reports from Imelda Degay

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The municipal government through its nutrition unit conducted a forum about cancer to provide a venue for cancer survivors and patients to enhance their knowledge about their illness as well as share their experiences and learnings so that others may draw insights and inspiration.

Councilor Horacio Ramos Jr., who chairs the committee on health, welcomed the participants composed of 83 cancer survivors and patients, carers, health and nutrition workers, and municipal staff members.

Dr. Jimmy Billod, a gynecology-oncologist and medical officer of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, talked about the nature, risk factors, prevention management of cancer; while Donabelle Faye Navarette, section  manager of the Clinical Nutrition Services of St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City, presented the nutritional management of cancer based on current guidelines.

Cancer, though currently preventable and treatable, remains a dreaded disease with many still associating it with death. Such is not the case anymore, especially with early detection and proper management. Its risk factors, nature, management and side effects are too often misunderstood and unexplained.

Those diagnosed react differently. Some adapt quickly passing through stages of disbelief, discovery, redirection and resolution and live life normally, while others hardly get over with it. Thus the Department of Health has set up schedule for cancer awareness advocacy: March for colon and rectal cancer, April for cancer in children, May for cervical cancer, August for lung cancer, September for liver cancer, October for breast cancer and November for cancer pain. This is augmented by other efforts such as publications, broadcasts, and seminars from other government agencies and non-government offices.

Everyone is encouraged to contribute towards raising awareness on cancer or helping others cope with it and live life normally.

Marivic Bugasto and Divina Sayaan who head Minda’s Buddies and Warrior in Me, respectively, shared what support groups do, apart from how they emerged victorious in spite of life’s challenges. 

Other sharers included a breast cancer survivor for 26 years now, a six-year survivor who has been through nine surgeries, a pancreatic cancer survivor and a survivor’s husband who highlighted the role of spouses and the family. 

Majority of the 35 participants had breast cancer. There were four cases each of thyroid and cervical cancer, two colon and one each of endometrial, nasopharyngeal, lung, pancreatic and tongue cancer.

Meanwhile, medical technologists and interns from the School of Natural Sciences of the University of Baguio conducted free complete blood count, urinalysis and blood typing while Nutrition students of the Benguet State University assessed the nutritional status of the participants.

Pastor Joe Bildan and his group offered group and individual prayers. Councilor Teddy Quintos closed the affair with an inspirational message and prayers.

The forum conducted  last June 29 was  the first of a series of activities initiated by a group of La Trinidad-based cancer survivors,  who  wish to formally organize themselves and serve as an arm of the municipal government in its cancer prevention and management efforts.

Interested cancer patients or their families who wish to be visited or need more sharing may contact 0921-418-2126 or 0908-211-8688.


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