February Marks National Cancer Prevention Month

Cancer is one of the four epidemic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) or lifestyle-related diseases (LRDs) which include cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, and chronic respiratory diseases. According to Dr. Antonio Miguel Dans in his paper “Introduction to Non-Communicable Diseases” in August 2014, the NCDs are now considered a “silent disaster” of massive proportion that is ravaging the Filipino population, killing 300,000 victims a year, 800 every day, and 33 every hour. Its toll on lives is likened to “two 747 planes packed with passengers crashing every day”. Those NCDs share common risk factors, such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet, insuf´Čücient physical activity and the harmful use of alcohol.

Cancer remains a national health priority in the country with significant implications for individuals, families, communities, and the health system.  Cancer is the third leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the country after diseases of the heart and the vascular system (Philippine Health Statistics 2009).  Among Filipino men, the 6 most common sites of cancer diagnosed in 2010 (Globocan) were lung, liver, colon/rectum, prostate, stomach, and leukemia. Among Filipino women the 6 most common sites diagnosed were breast, cervix, lung, colon/rectum, ovary and liver.  Furthermore, 189 of every 100,000 Filipinos are afflicted with cancer while four Filipinos die of cancer every hour or 96 cancer patients every day, according to a study conducted by the University of the Philippines’ Institute of Human Genetics, National Institutes of Health.


Early detection and screening is key.

Cancer is deadly, but the good news is thousands of cancer cases, and deaths can be prevented through early detection and screening.

Cancer is a leading cause of death.

In 2019, cancer was said to be the world's second leading cause of death, with breast (2.26 million cases) and lung (2.21 million cases) being the most common types of cancer, according to the WHO.

Cancer research has decreased death rates.

More effective cancer treatment has decreased the death rate according to the American Cancer Society and, more specifically, lung cancer.

Smoking increases your risk of lung cancer.

The most effective preventative measure against the disease is to stop smoking. The more cigarettes you smoke, the higher your risk.

Moreover the Provincial Health Office is sharing ways to prevent cancer or find it early.

Don’t  smoke or aim to quit.

Smoking and secondhand smoke cause 90% of lung cancer deaths in the United States.

The use of tobacco products is linked to cancers of the larynx, mouth and throat, esophagus, urinary bladder, kidney, pancreas, cervix, colon, rectum, liver, and stomach.

Protect Your Skin from the Sun

Skin cancer is the most common and preventable cancer in the United States.

Be sure to use adequate sun protection year-round and never use indoor tanning beds.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Overweight and obesity are associated with at least 13 types of cancer, including endometrial (uterine), breast, and colorectal cancer.

Controlling your weight through physical activity and healthy eating reduces your risk for cancer.

Limit Alcohol Intake

Heavy drinking and binge drinking increases the risk of breast, liver, colon, rectum, mouth, pharynx, larynx, and esophagus cancer.

Men should have no more than two alcoholic drinks per day and women no more than one.

Practice Safer Sex and Get Vaccinated Against Infectious Disease

Unprotected sex can spread both Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Hepatitis B.

If left untreated, HPV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C are linked to many cervical and liver cancer cases.

Know Your Family Health History and Get Regular Cancer Screenings

Knowing your family health history can help you and your doctor determine which screening tests are needed and when.

Regular cancer screenings are essential to detect cancer or precancerous conditions before symptoms occur.

To learn more about  to prevent cancer you may visit the office from Monday to Friday (8:00 am to 5:00pm)


Reference: https://doh.gov.ph/philippine-cancer-control-program