Capitol illuminates in “Pink” for breast cancer awareness

Governor Hilario Davide III kept a tradition alive that began in October 2011, the illumination of Cebu Provincial Capitol building in “pink“ in the observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The color pink generally sends out a message to support research into breast cancer and support those who are affected by the disease.

Cebu province has continuously been supporting the cancer awareness program in terms of awareness, prevention and advocacy.

At around 5:30 PM on October 1, Governor Davide with Capitol department heads together with ICanServe Foundation president Mary Ann Alcordo-Solomon and Joel Abad of Rotary Club of Cebu Fuente lighted up the façade of the provincial capitol.

High incidence rate

Provincial health officer Dr. Cynthia Genosolango said, the incidence rate of breast cancer globally is increasing over the years.

The Philippines has one of the highest incidences of breast cancer in Asia, according to research conducted by the Philippine General Hospital in 2009.

In Cebu, breast cancer is the leading cancer-related deaths among Cebuano women.

Based on the population-based Cancer Registry of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) Eduardo J. Aboitiz Cancer Center (EJACC), women ages 50 to 54 are the ones most likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer.

In 2003-2007, there were 657 recorded deaths out of 1,349 breast cancer cases. Of the newly-diagnosed cases in Metro Cebu, 70 percent were found in the later stages of the disease.

“Early detection is important. Its fatal outcome can be totally reversed if early diagnosis is made. This can be done by regular checkup like mammogram, or self-breast examination especially for high-risk women like those who have relatives with breast cancer.

Other pink landmarks and highlights

Aside from the Capitol building, some iconic landmarks in Cebu such as the Rizal Library and Fuente Osmena Rotunda will also lighted in pink.

According to Solomon there are several activities to happen this month in relation to Breast Awareness Month.

Different establishments in Cebu such as Ayala Center (Pink Clinic) and SM City (Pink Room) will be offering free consultation and breast cancer screening.

Private hospitals are offering big discounts for mammograms. Chong Hua offers 30% discount and Cebu Doctors 25% discount while Hi-Precision Diagnostics gives 25% discount.

On October 18, Cebu attempts to break world record for largest Zumba dancers and biggest human awareness ribbon formation. About 10,000 participants are expected to attend the event at the North Parking Area of SM City Cebu

“Breast cancer incident is rising and the awareness is spreading but no one should die of breast cancer if detected early, survival rate with early detection is 90%.  Early detection saves lives, and early detection saves money,” Solomon said.