A House panel has approved several measures seeking to establish breast care centers around the country amid reports that the Philippines has the highest incidence of breast cancer in the South East Asian region.
The House Committee on Health approved for plenary deliberation House Bills 1768, 2445 and 2699 instituting breast care centers that will be furnished with facilities and personnel to administer programs for the prevention, diagnoses and treatment of breast cancer and other breast diseases.
The programs include breast protection, breast surveillance, breast imaging, breast diagnostic and surgery, chemotherapy and breast cancer awareness and information.
Rep. Nerissa Soon Ruiz of Cebu, author of House Bill 1768, said “[breast cancer] ranks second among the common cancers on both sexes and ranks first among Filipino women.”
The lawmaker noted that public awareness and education is vital in the fight against breast cancer as the possibility of cure is high when the disease is detected early.
Meanwhile, Rep. Carmelo Lazatin of Pampanga, who authored House Bill 2699, said the low percentage of Filipino women who perform breast self-examination and the unavailability of mammography especially for those women living in remote rural areas justify the need for legislation instituting the cited programs.
House Bill 2445, authored by Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro, mandates the coordination of regional and local education officials to guarantee that female high school students of both private and public schools are well-informed about breast cancer to increase the rates of awareness, prevention and early detection.
Moreover, House Bill 4896, authored by Rep. Narciso Santiago 3rd requires that health plans provide coverage for a minimum hospital stay for mastectomies, lumpectomies and lymph node dissection for the treatment of breast cancer and coverage for secondary consultations. –Frank Lloyd Tiongson, Manila Times