Cancer Game Plan PH | What to do when Cancer Hits YOU?

July 30, 2018

Nowadays, when you feel something is not right with your body, like a cough, we usually go and self medicate first. Either basing our possible cure from past experiences coupled with some over the counter drugs and for those who are tech- savvy, they use GOOGLE and see what is up.

So when you finally go to the family doctor, it might just hit you like a tsunami when he or she says that "You have CANCER."

With cancer being one of the top three silent killers in the Philippines alongside a couple of other non communicable diseases or NCDs* you might just think that hearing those words, either directed to you or your loved one is akin to signing a death contract of some sort. 

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The thing is, we have moved on from just chemotherapy to other advanced medication that can definitely help a person who has this disease. And to make these medication and other resources available to the public, with the combined efforts of people who are fighting the good fight and the DOH, Cancer Game Plan PH was born.

To make these new medication and other resources for cancer available to the public, Cancer Game Plan PH was born.

*According to the WHO's data last 2017, out of 102 Million population, 68% dies from Non Communicable Diseases including cancers.)

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What is Cancer Game Plan PH?

Cancer Game Plan PH stemmed from last year's Hope From Within Campaign, and this advocacy aims to help arm patients with the needed resources to effectively fight the dreaded disease. It is geared to systematically chance the face of disease care and aims to expand this scope of disease care to include, in addition to lung cancer, melanoma, head and neck, gastric, bladder and Hodgkin Lymphoma types of cancers.

A multi stakeholder gathering was also held last July 20th, with representatives from the Department of Health, Philippine Alliance of Patient Organizations, Philippine Society of Medical Oncologists, Sunlife Financial Corporation and Cancer Coalition of the Philippines, together with the newly introduced Cancer Game Plan PH influencers, to talk and set some clear perspectives of the advocacy and the plan.

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Cancer does not mean Death ASAP.

Because you see, from what I understood from the talks that were held, amidst all the medical jargon, there are actually cases of people who might just survive, and from my personal experience, some friends and family of mine have survived and are currently living their life to the fullest.

Early detection is always what makes your chances better vs. Cancer

Some people think that chemo therapy is the only answer to the disease, but the point here is that early detection is always what makes your chances better vs. Cancer. Contrary to the practices I said earlier, we should really strive to go and talk to our doctors ASAP or at least have a semi annual check up with an oncologist, instead of googling what our ailment might be. 

Cancer does NOT EQUATE to Chemotherapy. 

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Melanoma survivor Danny Dimabuyu, a previous face of the Hope From Within Campaign last year, was there in the talks, alongside other Cancer Game Plan PH influencers Diego Castro, tv personality Susan Africa, Dr. Meredith Garcia, Cancer Survivor Louie Sangalang and breast cancer survivor Dr. Gia Sison.

They all talked about their trials and tribulations with battling cancer, with sir Danny highlighting how he was able to benefit from Immunotherapy through the assistance of PCSO.

Sir Diego Castro and Ms. Susan Africa are both caregivers to their loved ones, with sir Diego for his father and Ms. Susan for her husband. It really opened my eyes that with the help of a community (and maybe a kickstarter funding) you can face the financial troubles, but the emotional burden is an entire different matter.


And while these advances therapies for cancer, like Immuno Therapy or a combination of medication that you can only check by having biomarkers are available to the public now, they are on the pricey side. 

While we hope for more policy makers and leaders to give a more efficient and better support system, and while there are updates for the process of the Cancer Bill, hoping to enhance the response capacity for all types of cancers here in our homeland that was mentioned by sir Paul Perez, it is not enough progress so for now we have PCSO's benefits programs to eligible patients and Phil Health from the DOH.

Cancer program manager for the DOH, Dr. Clarito Cairo gave his overview and analysis on the burden of cancer in the Philippines and how the government has been seeking for better alternatives to give more efficient support for patients. He referenced the plans in the DOH cancer road map which includes broader coverage of the Philippiine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) Z Benefit Package.
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Those instances are the reasons why having a trusted insurance helps a lot. In this case, Sunlife was there, represented by Lirio Torres who explained their programs that cover cancer that may help families and individuals prepare for the unknown, financially, making them more secured in their journey vs. Cancer. These programs that Sunlife has includes coverage from 30 days old to 140 years old. 

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They closed the gathering with a ceremonial gesture to emphasize the deepened and  expanded commitment to fight cancer, in the mission to save more lives.

To support them please check out their facebook page and see what we can all do to help.

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