In the Philippines, cancer is now the second leading cause of death, following cardiovascular disease. The leading kinds of cancer in the Philippines are breast, lung, liver, colon-rectal and cervical.
Unfortunately, a cancer study in the country shows that a significant percentage of patients either suffer from financial ruin or die due to lack of funds, support and access to medication.
Cancer advocates and supporters formed Cancer Coalition Philippines (CCPh) to push for the enactment of a Philippine Cancer Bill supported by the national budget.
“Currently, there are no laws in place for a national cancer program,” shared Dr. Julius Lecciones, executive director of Philippine Children’s Medical Center and member of the CCPh. “We all need to combine our efforts to ensure that cancer is addressed at the national level.”
Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala of ICanServe Foundation, cochair of CCPh, added, “A comprehensive national cancer plan is long overdue. We need to include the entire cancer spectrum of prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship and palliative care.”
CCPh is made up of representatives from organizations such as ICanServe Foundation, Philippine Society of Oncology, Cancer Warriors Foundation, Carewell Foundation, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines and many more.
“We all know the burden cancer places on patients, their loved ones, and on society,” Dr. Mon Severino of Philippine Society of Oncology said. “The ultimate goal of the coalition is to pass a cancer bill with implementation, to create a law to protect all those affected.”