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SPMC urges women to visit OB-GYN clinics for cervical cancer awareness

THE SOUTHERN Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) encouraged women aged 15 and older to undergo regular check-ups with their obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) for early detection and prevention of cervical cancer. 

During PIA’s Healthy Davao forum on May 27, Dr. Cherry Joy Tabora, SPMC-Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology consultant, said the most common reasons preventing women from visiting clinics is that they feel ashamed or “busy with their schedules.” 

“Actually nahihiya ang mga babae na pumunta ng OB clinics. Akala kasi nila baka masakit, minsan sinasabi nila wala sa kanilang schedule, or takot sa doctor,” Tabora said. 

Tabora stressed they are intensifying prevention of the said disease through education campaigns, screening tests, and offering vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a prerequisite of cervical cancer. 

“Common reasons women who undergo checkups is because they already have vaginal spotting, intermenstrual bleeding, foul smelling vaginal discharge, masakit ang puson o balakang, weight loss, and panghihina,” she said. 

She also mentioned risk factors of cervical cancer include women involved at an early age in sexual activities, having multiple sex partners, having childbirth at a young age, smoking, continuous oral contraceptive intakes, low socio-economic status, and contracting STIs. 

Based on SPMC’s data, the center accommodated approximately a few cases that are already in the late stage and only two cases at the early stage of cervical cancer. Tabora also said only 2% of lining admissions in their hospital are cervical cancer, with an 80% survival rate for those who are in the first stage of the said disease.

“Having cervical cancer is very expensive, before treatment, you’ll spend about P15,000 to P50,000. During surgeries, the estimated cost would be around P50,000 to P200,000. Chemoradiation runs from P90,000 to P260,000,” she added. 

Tabora also shared that based on the Philippines data, a population of 39.6 million women ages 15 and older are at risk of developing cervical cancer, with current estimates indicating 7,897 women are diagnosed and 4,050 women die of cervical cancer annually. 

In celebration of cervical awareness month, the Davao City Health Office in partnership with the Department of Health XI recently accommodated hundreds of women who also availed of their free cervical cancer screening test and HPV vaccine held last May 9. 

Photo: Bing Gonzales


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