The Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS) launched Women First – A Cervical Cancer Awareness Campaign last August 19 at Melo’s Steakhouse in Jupiter St. Makati which was headed by (from L-R) Dra. Maria Julieta Germar, active member of POGS, Dra. Cynthia Tan, Member of the Board of Trustees of POGS, Dra. Regta Pichay, President of POGS, and Dr. Rey de los Reyes, Chairman of the Women’s Reproductive Health Advocacy Committee.
Heroes, MD: POGS Ob-Gynes Become Town-criers of Cervical Cancer’s Threat
The war is not only won in the four corners of their clinics.
For the doctors of the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS), sending mothers, daughters, and wives home in full health counts is both the joy and reward of their profession. Sworn to do everything in their power to save lives, these passionate physicians are symbolic crusaders to the many women they have saved from the grip of death.
But in a country where universal health care has yet to reach the majority and where 12 Filipinas everyday still die of the highly preventable cervical cancer, these doctors face a grim fact that there are a lot more to save out there. Inspired by this mission, they have chosen to step out of their hospitals and medical centers to touch base with women and let the message of cervical cancer awareness be heard.
Doctors Breaking Borders
To spread the message of cervical cancer’s burden to women, POGS has set to launch their “Women’s First” advocacy, which will kick off a series of seminars to be presided by POGS member doctors. The seminars will be held in key selected locations all over the metro where more Filipinas will be enlightened about the nature of cervical cancer – and how they can avert it.
“It’s not enough that we treat women in clinics – more often than not, we see these cervical cancer patients when they’re already in their late stages, when it’s already too late,” observes Dra. Regta Pichay, President of POGS. “By taking the message to where they are – in their offices, at places where they go – we increase the chances of preventing this disease from taking their lives.”
A Fatal – Yet Highly Preventable – Disease
Caused by a chronic and persistent cancer-causing type of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection, cervical cancer puts more than 27 million Filipina women at risk. However, there is a cervical cancer vaccine which provides significant protection for women against the two most common cancer-causing Human Papillomavirus (HPV) types (16 and 18), which accounts for more than half of cervical cancer cases here in the country.
Apart from this, the cervical cancer vaccine provides defense against 12 other cancer-causing HPV types which include HPV strain 45 – a strain which prevalently causes a more severe form of cervical cancer among Filipinas. Designed to last for both young and mature women, females from 10 years old onwards can be vaccinated using this safe, relevant, and effective cervical cancer vaccine.
Heroism is Their Call of Duty
One can call them miracle workers and lifesavers, but for these doctors, it’s all part of their duty. As “Women’s First” spreads cervical cancer awareness to more women here in the country, they continue to live the oath they swore to uphold - to serve humanity to the best of their abilities.