It’s Cervical cancer awareness month and the Department of Health together with global pharmaceutical company MSD, and other medical societies will come together to spread awareness about cervical cancer this whole month of May.
Now on it’s 6th year, their theme Babae, Mahalaga Ka! (Woman, You are important!), the DOH and MSD, along with medical societies Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS), Society of Gynecologic Oncologists of the Philippines (SGOP) and Philippine Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (PSCPC) continued their partnership for this advocacy.
HPV (human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection in both men and women which causes cervical cancer. According to the World Health Organization, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer afflicting women worldwide with about 500,000 new cases and 250,000 deaths each year. In the Philippines, an estimated 12 Filipino women die due to cervical cancer each day.
There will be free cervical cancer screening to women aged 30-49 years old in 58 DOH-retained hospitals nationwide for the whole month of May. This will be done through PAP SMEAR or VIA (visual inspection using acetic acid). This is required for women who are sexually active and/or had history of sexual contact.
Apart from the screening they will also be offering free vaccination to 9,000 girls aged 13 years old this coming school year. The vaccine is not only for HPV (human papillomavirus) but it can also prevent vulvar & vaginal cancer, as well as genital warts.
DOH hopes that through this campaign they will be able to help women as well as be educated & encouraged to undergo the screening and vaccination.
For Philhealth members out there, according to Secretary Enrique Ona, they included the treatment for cervical cancer in the Z Benefit Package program. The benefit package includes cervical cancer chemo radiation with cobalt or primary surgery worth Php120,000 or cervical cancer chemo radiation with linear accelerator for Php175,000 depending on what is needed by the patient.
Below is the schedule and location where you can get free screening if you are 21 years old and above.
We only have one body and one life so better take care of it. Remember Prevention is better than cure. Ask your doctor today and be protected.
For more information on cervical cancer and other HPV-related diseases and the activities for Cervical Cancer Awareness Month