Press Release
August 8, 2007


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Nene" Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) is proposing the establishment of Breast Care Centers in every region nationwide to spearhead the fight against breast cancer.

Pimentel presented the proposal in the light of the fact that breast cancer now ranks 2nd among the common cancers on both sexes and first among the Filipino women.

Based on the data from the Department of Health (DOH), breast cancer is highest in the Philippines compared to other Southeast Asian countries.

Breast cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide and is the most common among women in the Philippines.

"As in all types of cancer, the causes of breast cancer is multi-factorial and the possibility of cure is high when detected early," Pimentel said.

"Hence public awareness and education is vital in the fight against breast cancer. Information is out primary weapon and it is on this that we must focus our efforts."

As embodied in Senate Bill 1439, filed by Pimentel, the breast care centers will mount a sustained information campaign to raise the level of public awareness on breast cancer. It will take the lead in providing affordable services in the fight and cure of the disease. It will also coordinate with the Department of Education to ensure that the bills, causes and symptoms of the disease are regularly discussed as part of the high school curriculum.

The proposed breast care canters shall be a new department or unit of existing regional hospitals of the national government. But should there be no regional hospital in a region, the center shall be attached to any district hospital in the region which is most accessible to the highest number of constituents.

The centers shall be provided with equipment, tools, implements, devices, apparatus and personnel as may be necessary for them to carry out multiple programs such as breast protection, breast surveillance, breast imaging, breast diagnostic and surgery, breast cancer chemotherapy and breast cancer awareness and information.

In coordination with the local government units local health offices, the Philippine Information Agency and other government agencies concerned, the centers shall spearhead an extensive information and awareness campaign within their respective regions to raise the level of awareness of local constituents especially the women sector on the ills, causes and symptoms of breast cancer for its early detection and prevention.

The centers shall coordinate with regional and local education officials to ensure that female high school students in both public and private schools are taught the pertinent information about breast cancer and are trained to habitually examine themselves as part of the regular secondary curriculum.

The bill also provides that the secretary of the Department of Health shall issue such guidelines, orders or rules and regulations as may be necessary for the establishment of a breast care center in every regional hospital of the national government or in a district hospital to be designated.

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