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Only 1% of Filipino women screened for breast, cervical cancer – study

Only 1 percent of Filipino women gets tested for cervical and breast cancer, a study conducted by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) showed.

Valerie Gilbert Ulep, PIDS senior research fellow, said in his study last month that “a big portion of the country's cancer burden is preventable if only more early screening can be conducted.”

Breast cancer screening in the country could be the lowest in the world. The screening rate in Malaysia and Thailand is 20 percent. Cambodia and Myanmar have better numbers than the Philippines, while western countries have a 50 percent screening rate, Ulep said.

In this file photo, women take part in a Zumba exercise at the Pasay City Hall as part of the kick off ceremony of International Women’s Day last March. PHOTO BY J. GERARD SEGUIA

“We are diagnosing cancer patients at a very, very late stage,” he added.

Early detection is the first step to cancer prevention.

Data showed that every year, 27,000 new breast cancer cases are detected and 9,000 women die.

The reason for low screening was attributed to lack of funding from the government. Only few hospitals offer cancer screening services.

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