Deputy Speaker and Las Pinas Rep. Camille Villar urged the government to intensify its early detection programs and promote easier access to preventive screening against breast cancer to save lives.
Villar has filed House Resolution 1023 to increase breast cancer awareness amid the prevalence of the most common cancer among women in the country.
“With the alarming growth of breast cancer cases in the Philippines, there is a need to strengthen dedicated programs against breast cancer, and to allocate adequate budgetary support for programs involving early detection in hospitals and at the local level,* the ranking House member said.
According to reports, there were 86,484 total cancer cases in the Philippines, of which 27,163 breast cancer cases are reported every year.
Breast cancer also claimed the lives of 9,926 Filipino women, making it the third most fatal type of cancer afflicting Filipinos, just behind lung and liver cancer.
The Philippines had the highest rate of breast cancer in Asia and the ninth highest in the world in 2019, with the disease often diagnosed already in advanced stages.
Moreover, an estimated 70% of breast cancer cases affect indigent women, making it more difficult for them to fight off the dreaded disease.
Experts noted that early detection programs are the best possible way for affordable care and to fight off breast cancer.
“There is a seeming absence of comprehensive screening programs especially in far-flung areas, thereby depriving women to seek immediate early screening or medical help,” the lawmaker wrote.
Villar also called on her colleagues to pass a separate measure seeking to establish a special assistance fund dedicated for cancer patients, particularly the indigents and underprivileged Filipinos who need all the support from the government.64