MANILA, Philippines—A partnership between the Muntinlupa City government and a nongovernment organization is hoping to reduce the risk of breast cancer among residents and offer help to those diagnosed with the disease.
The memorandum of agreement signed on Monday by Mayor Jaime Fresnedi and breast cancer support network ICanServe Foundation Inc. was in response to the latest survey which listed the Philippines as the ninth country in Southeast Asia with the highest rate of breast cancer.
“I encourage both men and women to avail of the free breast screening in the city’s nine barangays,” Fresnedi said, adding that residents diagnosed with or suspected to have the disease could undergo a mammography or breast ultrasound free of charge or at a discounted rate. The screenings will begin next week.
Hospitals in Muntinlupa will also be tapped to provide treatment for breast cancer patients.
Along with the signing of the agreement, the city government and ICanServe also launched the Ating Dibdibin (Take Your Breast Care to Heart) campaign, a community-based program under which barangay health workers would undergo training for breast screening.
ICanServe Foundation chair Libet Virata said during the launching that early detection of the disease could help save a lot of lives.
Muntinlupa Gender and Development Office Chair and Program Director Trina Reyes-Biazon, on the other hand, explained that the joint program would teach early breast cancer detection techniques that women could do in their own homes.
“Should anyone be diagnosed with a suspicious lump during the screening, the Ating Dibdibin program provides access to financial help for diagnostics and treatment,” Biazon said.
The city government expressed hope that this initiative would be adopted by other local government units to boost breast cancer prevention through early detection of the disease. Maricar B. Brizuela