By Paulynne Joyce R. dela Cruz
- MA. ENCARNITA LIMPIN, a member of the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) Board of Regents, lectured on cancer and its preventive measures in the Cancer Awareness Forum last Feb. 6 at the Luce Auditorium.
PCP is an organization of physicians that sets the standards and ethical ideals in the practice of internal medicine and promotes relevant health policies in the country.
Cancer, as defined by Limpin, is a disease which is “characterized by abnormal or out-of-control cell growth” that harms the body through forming lumps or masses of tissue called tumors.
“From head to toe, you could actually develop cancer,” Limpin said.
Limpin added that there is 14.8 percent risk of getting cancer before the age 75, and the more abnormalities experienced in the body, the more likely it is to develop cancer.
“This is one of the most important things that you should know as young individuals, so that you’ll really be able to prevent the development of cancer,” Limpin said.
In 2009, cancer was the third leading cause of death with approximately 50,000 cases in the Philippines and the leading cause of death worldwide with 8.2 million deaths in 2012, according to World Health Organization.
In 2012, 59,000 out of 100,000 Filipinos had cancer, which was higher than 51,000 in the previous years.
Top 10 leading cancer
According to Limpin, there are 200 types of cancer and 10 of these types are leading in the Philippines.
Limpin identified it as breast, lung, liver, cervical, colon, thyroid, rectal, ovarian, prostate, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancers, respectively.
“Breast cancer as of 2010 has become the most common cancer in the country,” said Limpin.
Limpin added that lung cancer used to be number one, but since the number of women who have breast cancer has rapidly increased, it became the second.
“The majority of this risk is primarily because of the lifestyle that we have, so it is very important now when you are still very young not to engage in risky lifestyle behavior,” Limpin said.
100 percent smoke-free policy
The major risk factor of all types of cancer mentioned is smoking. Limpin said that a cigarette contains 7,000 chemicals and 70 of those are known to be carcinogens.
She said that the implementation of 100 percent smoke-free policy will encourage people to promote a ‘conducive’ environment.
“This policy definitely does not prohibit people to smoke; it will only tell people to smoke in a proper place where the non-smokers are protected by exposure to second hand smoke,” Limpin added.
The following are ways to prevent cancer, according to Limpin:
Avoiding tobacco use and exposure to cigarette second hand and third hand smoke
Limiting alcohol intake
Limiting ultraviolet exposure from the sun
Maintaining a healthy diet
Seeking regular medical check-up
The Silliman University Student Government Students’ Rights and Welfare Committee and Silliman University Physical Therapy Students’ Association co-organized this forum.~