Saturday, September 24, 2011

Let's Talk Breast, Shall We?

Hi everyone! Ina-Tay is so back! I apologize for the silence as my new work took me to Gen. Santos City for five days. I am home for the weekend and after putting my little one to sleep, I immediately grabbed my laptop and wore my blogger hat.

Image from Touch, Look, Check UK
As I have mentioned in my previous post, Mum and I attended the 3rd Silver Linings event here in Davao City last weekend. Among the activities for the day was a free breast clinic. I never passed on the chance to have my "lemons" (apparently I was under a beach umbrella when God gave the gift of "melons" to human female species thus I only got the lemons) checked. ICanServe Foundation, aside from providing hope to women with breast cancer and their families, also puts on top of their list the promotion of early detection by providing women across all demographics information and guidelines on Breast Self Exam (BSE). More than a hundred women signed up for the breast clinic who were checked by resident doctors from Davao Doctors Hospital. If my memory serves me right, it was a Dr. Lu who did my exam after a short interview. I was asked to remove my top and my bra then I had to lie down before she proceeded. By the way, these were all done behind curtains! I was so nervous while she was feeling my breasts. I silently prayed that my exam would give a negative result. I was also embarrased because milk started to flow from my right breast while she was checking my nipple. :) After what felt like eternity, I finally heard the best words that day "You're okay." I gave a sigh of relief but she told me to have an ultrasound just to double check given my family history of breast cancer.

Silver Linings' breast clinic
One of the participants being interviewed before being examined
So you may ask, what can early detection do??? Ladies, contrary to popular belief - there is a cure for cancer especially if it is diagnosed early! Doing the BSE might just save your life and that of your female friends and loved-ones. I would like to emphasize that "early detection is better than cure!" In the Philippines, majority of breast cancer cases are diagnosed in the late stage when it is nearly incurable. This is why in Southeast Asia, we have the highest rate of breast cancer mortalities and we are number nine worldwide. Most women either have no knowledge on how to detect lumps on their breasts or are too scared to have themselves checked despite "feeling" lumps.

To address the grim statistics, ICanServe Foundation has been disseminating info on early detection techniques to help women perform the BSE at home. The instructional videos are produced by ICanServe Foundation and C-Net. available in English, Tagalog and Bisaya, links are found below. These are very easy to understand and follow and won't take more than ten minutes of your time to do. And these ten minutes might just spell the difference between life or death for you.

For BSE with Lea Salonga (in English), please click here.
For BSE with Dawn Zulueta (in Tagalog), please click here.
For BSE with Raki Vega (in Bisaya), please click here.

BY AGE 20, women must do a monthly breast self exam.
BY AGE 30, women must do an annual clinical exam, and do a monthly breast self exam.
BY AGE 40, women must do yearly mammograms, an annual clinical exam and a monthly breast self exam.


  1. woah!!! i should be doing my monthly breast exam... and who else could do it for me than my own doctor-hubby! hahaha! i remember my first breast exam, i was in shock... no one had ever touched my breasts back them. but i had no choice, the office where i used to work asked for our medical exams i was left with no choice. thanks for dropping by my blog... i really love the way you write... i wish i could write like you... and oh by the way, i have "lemons" too, i guess i was sleeping when it rained... hahaha!

  2. Hi Hazel aka Pinx!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Lucky you for having a doctor-hubby, saves you a lot of money because PF and consultations really don't come cheap in the Philippines. Thanks for liking my writing, it's so humbling and encourages me to keep on writing my thoughts no matter how mundane. God bless you!