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Mindoro Doctors Educate Health Workers on Early Breast Cancer Detection

CALAPAN, ORIENTAL MINDORO - Medical professionals in Oriental Mindoro have initiated a targeted educational program for village health workers to enhance early detection and prevention of breast cancer, responding to a concerning rise in incidence rates within the province. The initiative, organized by the Mindoro Breast Cancer Support Group, convened at the Calapan Convention Center, assembling health workers from all 62 local villages.

According to Philippines News Agency, a leading surgeon involved in the effort, the program aims to bridge the gap between community members and medical services, addressing the reluctance to seek professional care due to costs and limited cancer awareness. The seminar covered crucial topics such as early breast cancer detection methods, consultation processes, operative treatments, and the integral role of barangay health workers in cancer mitigation.

Dr. dela Paz underscored the positive impact of their educational campaigns, noting an encouraging trend of earlier cancer detection stages among patients, which significantly lowers mortality risks. He referenced data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, highlighting an uptick in breast cancer-related fatalities in the Mimaropa region from 190 in 2020 to 225 in 2021. Moreover, the Philippines has been identified as having the highest breast cancer prevalence globally in a 2017 study by the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society.

The Mindoro Breast Cancer Support Group, established in 2023, underscores a proactive response to the escalating breast cancer cases in the area. The recent workshop aligns with the National #BustOutCancer campaign and the Philippine Commission on Women's National Women's Month, emphasizing comprehensive care approaches presented by oncologist Dr. Abigail Aylette Barrientos. She elucidated the multifaceted needs of cancer patients, including psycho-social and mental health support.

Participants, primarily barangay health workers, pledged to disseminate their newfound knowledge within their communities and advocate for regular self-breast examinations, marking a significant step toward community-driven health empowerment in Oriental Mindoro.