Press Release
April 3, 2006


"The lives of Filipino children stricken with cancer can be saved with early detection and proper treatment."

Senate Health and Demography Committee Chair Senator Pia S. Cayetano made this remark, as she called on the government and the private sector to join hands in supporting the plight of children with cancer and raising public awareness about kids stricken with the dreaded disease.

She said many Filipinos are unaware that the month of April is designated as "Cancer in Children Awareness Month," in much the same way that many families lack basic information on how to deal with the much-feared disease.

"Often they are gripped with a sense of helplessness when cancer strikes a family member," she said.

She pointed out that the survival rate for Filipino children with cancer is alarmingly low, as she noted a report from the non-government Cancer Warriors Foundation, Inc. showing that only 10% of Filipino children diagnosed with the disease survive.

"But these young lives need not be wasted since the disease can be treated if detected early. The earlier the child is diagnosed, the greater the chance of recovery."

"With proper information, early detection and appropriate treatment, cancer can be beaten," stressed Cayetano, who is also a spokesperson for the Philippine Cancer Society.

Citing data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Cayetano said cancer claims the lives of 100,000 children worldwide every yearor an estimated 274 children every day.

She noted that 80% of children diagnosed with cancer come from developing countries, where many families cannot afford the best available cancer treatment.

The cost of one chemotherapy session for leukemia patient ranges from P5,000 to P10,000. It usually takes about 12 sessions for effective treatment.

The leading type of cancer in children is leukemia, followed by lymphoma, brain and spinal cancer.

"Everyone should help in raising awareness on the need for early diagnosis of childhood cancer and improving the access of Filipino families, especially the poor, to cancer treatment."

Cayetano has been supportive of the initiatives of the non-government organizations like the Cancer Warriors Foundation, Inc. and the Philippine Cancer Society.

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