(SM CARES. (L-R) Host and Actress Sophie Albert, Mall Manager Bong Garcia, PBCS President Dr. Victor Gozali, Local Council of Women Chairperson Dra Leticia Yap, Angeles City Vice Mayor Vicky Vega, City of San Ferndando Vice Mayor Jimmy Lazatin, Breast Cancer Survivor and Advocates Direk Bibeth Orteza and Melissa De Leon, Director of SM Cares Program on Women and Breastfeeding Mothers Marie Bernadette Velasco, PBCS Breast Surgeon Dr. Joseph Jude Mercado and Assistant Mall Manager Bernadette Anotnio. Contributed Photo)
Breast cancer in the Philippines is widespread that at least one in every 13 Filipinas is expected to develop it in her lifetime. Due to its high incidence, SM Prime Holdings Inc. props up the awareness efforts on breast cancer through its Pink Ribbon Day held yesterday at SM City Telabastagan.
Pink Ribbon Day is in celebration of the Breast Cancer Awareness Month and is organized by SM Cares, a division of Sm Foundation Inc., in partnership with the Philippine Breast Cancer Society (PBCS) and SM City Telabastagan. The project aims to encourage women to have their breasts examined for early detection and early intervention.
Dr. Victor Gozali, President of the PBCS said regular breast examination is the single best way to detect the disease at the earliest possible stage.
“We want people, especially women in the high-risk groups, to be more conscious about the need to conduct the breast self-examination (BSE) because this will bring about early detection that will raise their chances of fighting the disease,” Gozali said.
He pointed out that women aged 20 and above should conduct the BSEs monthly right after their monthly period. This is done by using the pads of the fingers in a circular pattern moving from the center of the breast going out including the nipple-areola and armpit areas to detect the presence of lumps, dimples, fluids and changes in the nipple color or texture.
Aside from the BSE, clinical examinations must also be conducted every one to three years and if a woman is forty years and above, mammography screenings must be done every year.
Marie Bernadette Velasco, Director of SM Cares Program on Women and Breastfeeding Mothers, said the Pink Ribbon Day is their way of promoting programs for the benefit of women. “We want to do our share in addressing one of the top causes of mortality for women by promoting early detection as well as healthy lifestyle,” Velasco said. With Pink Ribbon Day, SM Cares make it a duty to reach out and empower Filipinas all over the country. Breast cancer is a fight that can be won with early detection, prayers, and support of family and friends,” Velasco added.
The event held at SM City Telabastagan, offered free clinical breast examinations and also featured inspirational stories from celebrity breast cancer survivors and advocates Bibeth Orteza and Melissa De Leon as well as talks conducted by the Philippine Breast Cancer Society on how to detect and protect women against the risk of breast cancer. Participated by the Soroptemist International Pampanga headed by chapter President Dancel Sorro and women of the City of San Fernando headed by Local Council of Women Chairperson Dra Leticia Yap with Dra Lourdes Javier.