Advocacy group underscores importance of early breast cancer detection

Published April 13, 2021, 10:07 AM

by Gabriela Baron

Advocacy group ICanServe reminded women of the importance of early breast cancer detection.

(L-R) Metro Manila Mayors’ Spouses Foundation Inc. (MMSFI) exec director Eva Nono, MMMSFI president Janet Olivares, ICanServe founding president Kara Alikpala, and ICanServe office admin Myrna Guiba (Photo from ICanServe)

In 2020, breast cancer became the number one cancer in the world, overtaking lung cancer.

ICanServe, together with cancer patient groups and city partners, seeks to provide hope and life-saving information despite the pandemic via online breast cancer forums and the distribution of Kamay Gabay kits.

Launched in October 2020, Kamay Gabay kits contain information on breast care, breast cancer, and a bag charm bracelet that serves as a visual reminder to do regular breast self-examination (BSE) and clinical check-ups.

“Saving lives of mothers and daughters begins at home. Early detection is your best protection. Now, more than ever, we need to provide women with correct and vital information. BSE can save your life. To this day, it remains the most non-complicated, non-invasive, most cost effective way to detect breast cancer,” ICanServe chairman Crisann Celdran said.

ICanServe promotes and conducts early breast cancer detection programs in local communities providing sustained access to accurate diagnosis, timely treatments, and patient navigation.

“Before the pandemic, during our free breast clinics and forums in tandem with the local government unit’s City Health team, a lot of hugging and hand holding goes on. The women in the communities are very touchy feely. They are afraid of the topic and need a lot of reassurance,” ICanServe founding president Kara Magsanoc-Alikapa added.

“Virtual forums alone don’t cut it for them. So we distribute these Kamay Gabay kits. The kit is something tangible. Something that can keep the women company with a friendly reminder to check themselves and go to the nearest community health center if there’s a suspicious breast lump that needs to be seen by a professional,” she stressed.

The group is also encouraging breast cancer patients on treatment to keep to their scheduled hospital visits and to observe their regular check-ups with their healthcare providers.

Founded in 1999, ICanServe empowers women with breast cancer and provides women with cancer-related information.