October 8, 2016 – Cagayan de Oro City – 3PM at LimKetKai Mall, women of all ages and backgrounds gathered for a Free Breast Cancer Forum in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Simultaneously in other places in the Philippines like Makati and Cebu, the same forum took place.
Organized by ICanServe’s local organization Thrive in partnership with the Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro East Urban, this forum served as a wake-up call to many women on the reality of breast cancer. The forum presented everything you need to know about breast cancer – from inspirational messages from breast cancer survivors to a video tutorial on how to give yourself a breast self-examination.
Thrive’s Appointed President Ms. Karen Lluch and President of the Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro East Urban Pres. Rachaille Astrid P. Ferrer formally started the event with their own welcome messages.
Rotary District Governor Miriam Ruth de la Calzada of the Rotary International District 3780 then followed with her special message, which highlighted the story of what she went through when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She inspired the crowd as she mentioned how, despite being diagnosed with such disease, her mother stays alive and well.
The Breast Cancer 101 Forum was led by Dr. Myra Luminarias, Resident Physician at the German Doctors’ Hospital, Cagayan de Oro City, Thrive CdO 2016 Core Group Leader, and breast cancer survivor. She covered the essentials of what all women need to know about breast cancer – the risk factors, myths vs. reality, symptoms, and how to give an examination, to name a few.
Dr. Luminarias further emphasized the importance of friends and family during this period of a patient’s life, stating how keeping it to herself during the first month was extremely tough on her. By the time everyone she knew found out about her condition, she was already undergoing surgery, and the support they showed at that time gave her the strength to keep fighting and get to where she is now.
Her talk was further supported by a tutorial video on giving a breast self-examination. Then, another breast cancer survivor Mrs. Mildred Nahial from Pinque and a Clinical Instructor at Xavier University gave her testimony on how she dealt with her own ordeal.
Now as we all know, apart from being a devastating disease, cancer treatments can also be quite costly. Thus, representatives from companies like PhilHealth, PCSO, and DSWD all pitched in their plans and packages as sources of funding for patients in case of a cancer diagnosis. Even Dr. Jose Rhoel C. de Leon from the Capitol University Service Case Information and Chairman of Surgery in Capitol University offered their help for cancer patients in need.
The audience were given the chance to ask questions to the speakers, especially regarding their health care offers for assisting with the cost of cancer treatments. The program was then formally closed by Thrive CdO Supporter & Volunteer, Ms. Trisha Tamparong.
With myths debunked and the facts of breast cancer all revealed and firmly implanted in the minds of the audience, the fight against breast cancer grows stronger and stronger. The more aware an individual is of this life-threatening disease, the more lives are saved through emphasizing the need for regular examinations and checkups.
As Dr. Luminarias said, early detection is the best “cure” for cancer.
Thus, ladies (and gentlemen), let’s keep fighting!