By Sara Grace C. Fojas
One in every 13 Filipinas is at risk of getting breast cancer, the highest incidence in Asia, according to Philippine Breast Cancer Society. The Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Cancer Society said that it is the most prevalent type of cancer in the country—16 percent of the 50,000 diagnosed cancer cases.
This is because of the Filipinas’ decision of delaying having children, intake of oral contraceptive pills, high fat diet, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, alcohol consumption, and family history of cancer.
Although there are available treatments already for this cancer such as surgery, radiation therapy, drug treatments, chemotherapy, many women still don’t get treated or die from the illness because of late diagnosis. The DOH constantly reminds everyone to get a regular breast examination because the earlier the cancer is detected, the easier it is to cure.
It is in view of these problems that Dr. Norman San Agustin, a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and founder and president of Morristown Surgical Associates Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey, dedicated his medicinal practice to breast cancer and founded Asian Breast Center.
“For every minute, one incidence of breast cancer develops and one breast cancer patient dies. Most of those who died didn’t even receive any kind of treatment, because they couldn’t afford it,” says Dr. San Agustin.
The most effective way to prevent breast cancer, according to Dr. San Agustin, is to include regular breast examination in every woman’s annual doctor’s checkup for early detection and intervention.
Asian Breast Center at the eight floor of Centuria Medical Center in Makati City is a specialty clinic that prides itself as a fully equipped, one-stop specialty unity for the management of conditions of the breast. The clinic provides a holistic, comprehensive, and multi-disciplinary approach to breast care, which includes prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment.
“Asian Breast Center wants to provide this information as the first freestanding profit-for-charity ambulatory comprehensive breast cancer care center in the country,” he says. The center is affiliated with a major hospital in the United States offering evidence-based treatment and recommended by the NCCN guidelines.
Replete with modern equipment like the 3D Tomosynthesis Mammogram and a General Electric 2-D mammography machine, which was donated by the Atlantic Healthy System of Newton Medical Center in the US, the services center offered by the center include diagnostic modalities and supportive care such as early breast cancer treatment, consultation, medical oncology, radiation oncology, and minor breast surgeries. It also offers breast reconstruction, diagnostic modalities, digital mammography, breast ultrasound, scintigraphy, and biopsy. Other services are also breast and cosmetology services, counseling, patient education, and close post-operative follow-up support services.
It also has a boutique shop and provides nutritional counseling and emotional psychological support.
With all these excellent services that the center provides, the ultimate goal of Dr. San Agustin is to help everyone dealing with this illness by providing quality healthcare for all. Though its treatments are expensive, the profits of center will go to other breast centers to provide more screenings and treatments to every Filipina in the country.
“The survival rate for an early detected breast cancer is 99 percent. We have to break the cycle of fear about breast cancer with awareness, correct information, and the appropriate treatment. If everyone is aware and provided with correct information and treatment, more lives will be saved,” says Dr. San Agustin
www.asianbreastcenter.com. Asian Breast Center in at the eight floor of Centuria Medical Center in Makati City
Tags: Asian Breast Center, breast cancer, breast reconstruction, Centuria Medical Center, Department of Health, Philippine Breast Cancer Society, Philippine Cancer Society, San Agustín, The battle with breast cancer