The Cebu Provincial Government will be lighted in red lights for the entire month of May as the country observes Cervical Cancer Awareness Month in May (Scarlet May). The observance was formerly called Red December.
Doctors of the OB-GYN department of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center and other organizations, such as the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS) Cebu Chapter and SheMatters, graced the official launch of the Cervical Cancer Awareness Month at the Capitol grounds last May 2 at 6 p.m.
The observance aims to spread information about cervical cancer and how to prevent it.
Cervical cancer is rapidly becoming one of the deadliest forms of cancer women tend to overlook by disregarding or avoiding a check-up.
It is an infection caused by a virus called HPV 16 & 18 (Human Papilloma Virus) that can be transmitted during sexual activities.
Dr. Helen Amoril said that ‘younger women should concentrate on their studies first and, as much as possible, should not engage in sexual activities since these will come later in their life.’
She added that ‘sexual activities at a younger age will also be a key factor for developing cervical cancer since the body or the cervix is more vulnerable at this time.’
“Aside from cancer, women are also in danger of being infected with AIDS or HIV,” she said.
The Scarlet May observance also highlights the mission for Cebu to be cervical cancer-free.
Virgie Quinanola, a cervical cancer Stage 2B survivor, encouraged everyone to have a check-up and to undergo Pap Smear once a year.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Cynthia Genosolango, VSSMC Chairman of the Department of Ob-Gyn Dr. Belinda Panares, and POGS Cebu Chapter President – Dr. Virginia Abalos were also present in the event.
The program started with Lantern Walk from Fuente Osmeña to the Capitol and ended with a 30-minute Zumba session. (Mary Ann Tapayan, CIT-U Intern)