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July 3, 2015

Cancer cases expected to rise among Filipinos

Cancer, regarded as one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, can also be significantly lessened if it is detected and treated at the earliest time possible.

To improve and transform cancer care and management here in the Philippines, the Asian Hospital and Medical Center (AHMC) will launch the Asian Cancer Institute (ACI) this July 23, 2015. ACI was created with the aim of providing modern services and advancing the rate of world-class scientific solutions, research and treatment for cancer patients.

Cancer is affecting more and more Filipinos everyday. Here in the country at least 98,200 patients are diagnosed with this affliction every year. Of this number, over 59,000 individuals eventually die because of the disease, according to the Philippine Cancer Society.
From L-R: Asian Hospital and Medical Center - Asian Cancer Institute (AHMC-ACI) Team Leads --- Surgical Oncologist Dr. Karl Morales; PR & Communications Head Mr. Noli Garcia; Senior Manager for Corporate Communications Ms. Pinky Demaisip; Coordinator for Conquer C Center Dr. Johanna CaƱal; President & CEO Mr. Andres Licaros, Jr.; Clinical Director Dr. Corazon Ngelangel; Occupational Medicine Specialist Dr. Rumalie Corvera; Senior Manager Clinical Operations Ms. Judy Tonolete; Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) Manager Dr. Nelsen Guanzon; Corporate Affairs Director Ms. Hennesy Lou Miranda.




This number is still expected to rise dramatically as the World Health Organization (WHO) forecasts that cancer diagnosis will rise by 70 percent in the next two decades. This translates to more deaths related to cancer in the coming years.

What is more alarming is that the WHO says that over 60% of the world’s total new cases come from the continents of Africa, South America, and Asia, home of some of the world’s poorest populations. Patients from these geographic locations also account for 70 percent of the global deaths because of cancer.

Here in the Philippines, WHO estimates that 28,700 males and 27,900 females died of cancer last year. For men, lung cancer (24.3%), liver cancer (14.7%), and colorectal cancer (12.8%) were the deadliest. While breast cancer (27.7%), colorectal cancer (10.4%), and lung cancer (9.9%) are the most fatal types of cancer. In Asia, the Philippines has the highest case of breast cancer according to the Philippine Society of Medical Oncology.

Several factors can also heighten the chances of getting cancer. These include, tobacco use, alcohol use, unhealthy diet, and lack of physical activity. Cigarette smoking is the most dangerous of these risk factors and accounts for about 20 percent of the total cancer deaths worldwide. But if one leads a healthy lifestyle, WHO says that cancer deaths can be lessened by 30 percent.

Cancer and mortality can also be significantly lessened if it is detected and treated at the earliest time possible. The most common types of cancer such as breast, cervical, colorectal, lung, oral, and prostate can be cured when detected early and treated according to globally-accepted best practices.

Changing the way we tackle cancer through integrated and multidisciplinary care.

To improve and transform cancer care and management here in the Philippines, the Asian Hospital and Medical Center (AHMC) will launch the Asian Cancer Institute (ACI) this July 23, 2015. ACI was created with the aim of providing modern services and advancing the rate of world-class scientific solutions, research and treatment for cancer patients.

“It is an integrated and multidisciplinary team approach to cancer care….given that all the disciplines and the services are housed in Tower Two of the Asian Hospital and Medical Center. In this center we’re putting everything together in one place. It’s from preventive oncology to end-of-life care,” Dr. Corazon Ngelangel, Director of ACI said.

This multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment and care is the most important facet of ACI. From day one of consultation with ACI, a team of experts coming from different fields sit and discuss every patient’s case, saving the patient from skipping from one doctor to another to make sure that their diagnosis is correct. This novel approach is also advantageous because all possible modes of treatment are laid out to a patient.

Apart from its mission to improve the way we treat and manage cancer, ACI also provides compassionate care to every cancer patient and a healing environment that comforts and heals the body as well as the spirit. The patient is assisted in every way possible with support groups, psychosocial support, and even spiritual advice. These are offered to both the patients and their family members.

“For multidisciplinary team approach to cancer care, you’re not only talking to one doctor with one specialty but you are talking to many doctors with different specialties who need to be caring for you. Cancer is multi-faceted in its treatment. You need surgery, you need drugs, you need support. So everything should be there at first diagnosis,” Ngelangel said.

ACI boasts of four different but integrated centers of excellence. These are the Emmanuel Center which provides screening, diagnosis, and surgical care to patients with different malignancies; Conquer C Center mainly includes oncologists with specialized expertise in radiation therapy, nuclear oncology and interventional oncology; Chrys Center 1 provides Medical-Hematology-Pediatric oncology services, the area of cancer dedicated to treating adult and pediatric patients, by using medications taken by mouth, injection, or infusion, including internal medicine and pediatric medicine interventions; and Chrys Center 2 which is dedicated to providing the highest quality Integrative, Supportive and Palliative Care Services.

Dr. Ngelangel said that these centers house everything that may be needed by the patient. This facility will be home to unparalleled medical expertise coming from some of the best medical professionals in the country. This is further enhanced with the promise of compassionate care for every cancer patient and their family. Because as Ngelangel puts it, “in cancer you often comfort and you sometimes really cure. That’s how oncology is, that’s how cancer management is.”


ABOUT THE ASIAN HOSPITAL AND MEDICAL CENTER

Asian Hospital and Medical Center (AHMC) is a tertiary hospital accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI), the world’s most prestigious accrediting body for health care organizations.
AHMC is a part of the Metro Pacific Hospital Group, the largest private hospital group in the Philippines managed by the Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), the local unit of the First Pacific Group headed by Manuel V. Pangilinan.
Opened on May 11, 2002, the hospital with 289-bed capacity stands on a 17,250-square meter campus, carefully planned and specially designed to provide a healing environment, care and comfort, and ensure the safety of the patients, guests, and staff. There are also over 900 expert doctors from the different specialties who have been trained in top institutions worldwide and more than 300 nurses whose specializations include hemodialysis for patients requiring routine and intensive care; diagnostic procedures for breast lesions; supportive home care, pain management, and palliative medicine; cardiovascular surgery; and intensive care for cardiovascular and neurosurgical patients. Asian Hospital also has over 1,000 highly skilled employees and staff who provide high quality and compassionate patient care.
ABOUT THE ASIAN CANCER INSTITUTE
The Asian Cancer Institute (ACI) is a one-stop, integrated, multi-disciplinary cancer prevention and management facility. It provides state-of-the-art, innovative, and evidence-based treatment by a group of expert medical and allied cancer specialists. The facility has four 4 Centers that offer easy access to screening and diagnostic procedures as well as individualized yet comprehensive cancer therapy and management. It focuses on compassionate care where every patient is totally cared for in a healing environment that comforts and heals the body as well as the spirit.

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