The MHAM medical team successfully conducted a Lay Forum on breast cancer on the occasion of the pre-Christmas celebration dubbed as “Pasko sa Kabukiran” Season 2 held in a partner community in Barangay Calidngan, Carcar City, Cebu last November 30, 2017 in the morning.
The MHAM medical team was composed of faculty-doctors, residents and junior clerks who on its second year offered free medical clinic in cooperation with the Carcar City Sangguniang Panlungsod, Calidngan barangay officials, health workers and elementary school public teachers.
In keeping the legacy and commitment of reaching out to the less-fortunate populace in an upland partner community, the MHAM Chief of Clinics, Dr. Axel Elises, facilitated the lay forum to the women-residents who in turn availed the pap smear test.
His lecture was focused on the facts and fallacies about breast cancer and how to perform breast self-examination.
A leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide, breast cancer is now treatable in many cases through screening and therapy.
In an interview with Dr. Elises, he reiterated that breast self-examination should be done as early as thirty years old among women.
“Breast cancer can be cured if a patient seeks early consultation. Health education such as this forum has been offered by the government, non-government organizations and society of surgeons and they are doing lay fora every October which is the Breast Cancer Awareness Month as mandated by the Department of Health. Being surgeons, we spearhead as an NGO for public awareness about breast cancer”, Dr. Elises said.
With the attempt to detect early breast cancer, the screening method through self-examination should be performed among women and this Chief of Clinics also added that not all breast tumors are breast cancers.
“Part of prevention is to detect it early and it should be part and initiative of the patients that they should know what to do and be aware of the importance of risk reduction and early detection”, he concluded.
After the lecture, a demonstration on how to perform breast self-examination followed with self-exam tips, allowing the participants to perform and feel each breast for possible lumps, distortions and discharge.
The participants were also reminded that should there be unusual changes during the self-examination, one should not panic, rather, one should consult promptly to the doctor.
The MHAM-VSMMC residents also facilitated the lecture on breast cancer with the effort to raise awareness in low-income areas in the province where most women are diagnosed in late stages due primarily to lack of awareness on early detection.
The MHAM Obstetrics and Gynecology Department Chairman, Dr. Marilou Viray also graced the event with a take home message that early screening and detection of breast cancer is essential.
Meanwhile this year’s medical mission was centered on cervical screening through pap smear test spearheaded by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology faculty-doctors and assisted by the junior clerks mostly from the Student Council.
In addition, minor surgeries and free consultation were also availed by the Calidngan residents with thirteen patients who availed the free minor surgeries led by the MHAM Surgery Department and assisted by the MHAM male clerks.
The notable half day medical mission was part of the community extension programs with the continuous life-saving to life-changing symbol of hope and compassion to the people of Calidngan. Through the years, the mission is always possible to address the local health disparities which are on the rise because in hopelessness and near despair, MHAM cares. (Ana Liza Abao)